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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When employees lose their jobs, they often look for a reason to sue. One common tactic is to argue that a layoff was used as an excuse to get rid of “unproductive” employees, especially those who take advantage of their right to FMLA leave. That’s why HR must develop a performance-appraisal system that documents that having taken FMLA leave wasn’t a factor when you evaluated employees’ work.

As World War II came to an end, Secretary of State George Marshall told the State Department’s director of policy planning, George Kennan, to get his team together and come up with an economic relief plan for Europe. Marshall didn’t become bogged down in telling Kennan how to do his job. But he did offer “two deeply serious and unforgettable words,” says Kennan. “Avoid trivia.”
In the early years of the Medici banking empire, which established commerce throughout Europe and later funded the greatest art of the Italian Renaissance, its founders had to set some ground rules. Still, it became clear immediately that however terrific the rules, staffing is always most important. Then as now, you need honest and astute managers.
How to avoid the two most common pitfalls in writing performance reviews.

Nancy McKinstry, CEO of the multinational publisher Wolters Kluwer, describes herself as an analytical person. She also calls herself an “insider-outsider” who knows her company thoroughly from the inside but also is an outsider—she became its first non-Dutch CEO and the first woman to lead it. She says she likes hiring people who have overcome adversity because ...

Job descriptions are the cornerstone of communication between managers and their employees. After all, it's hard for supervisors to measure job effectiveness during performance reviews unless they and the employee both know what's expected. Here's how to do job descriptions right.

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:

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