Leaders & Managers

From the nitty gritty of daily management to addressing your aspirations of leadership, this section for leaders & managers tells you how to make strong leadership decisions, build effective teams, delegate and stay above the everyday management muddle.

Get tips, strategies, tool and advice on: performance reviews, preventing workplace violence, best-practices leadership, team building, leadership skills, people management and management training.

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Measuring output without measuring input is a little like telling a Little League team to score more runs, without explaining how to swing a bat better. That’s why James Slavet, of venture firm Greylock Partners (investors in Groupon and Facebook), believes great teams should measure five metrics:

While most managers don’t deal directly with ERISA, you may be your company’s “communication voice” for benefits. Warning: Don’t make promises the company isn’t in a position to keep.

The pace of change seems to grow more urgent every year. Some see it as an attribute of leadership in the 21st century—right up there with judgment and courage. Consider, then, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who spread the speed creed 70 years before it was cool.

If you're relying solely on your memory to evaluate employee performance, you're making appraisals far more difficult than necessary. That's why it's best to institute a simple recording system to document employee performance. The most useful, easy-to-implement way is to create and maintain a log for each person. Follow these six steps:

A growing number of U.S. executives are voluntarily sharing their 360-degree reviews with direct reports. In considering whether transparency is worth trying, at least two advantages jump out:
Chicago-based Groupon has spawned an industry of deeply discounted coupons. If its model catches your business's fancy, try it, with precautions. Make sure you’re solid on Yelp. If you’re afraid of a customer deluge, cap the number of coupons. And never take your eye off quality.
Supervisors can learn a lot from others' mistakes, particularly when it comes to employment law issues. Here are four recent court decisions that provide lessons on how supervisors can keep their organizations (and themselves) out of legal hot water.

Good ideas aren’t hard to find. As long as you’ve got smart and creative people, there should be plenty of ideas. What’s hard is follow-through. Two examples: making the Rolling Stones album “Sticky Fingers” and Mick Jagger writing “Brown Sugar.”

Online shoe retailer Zappos is known for its knockout customer service. But CEO Tony Hsieh says his secret of success is really about his employees. “Our belief is that if you get the company culture right, most of the other stuff, like great customer service, will just happen.” That includes some unconventional ideas like paying new employees $2,000 to quit...

Setting ambitious goals for your unit and rallying everyone to follow through helps you lead effectively. Just don’t get carried away.
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