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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.

Today, Paul Allen says that each of his big ideas—which now include aspects of brain science and aerospace—has begun with a development that sets the stage. In co-founding Microsoft, that development was the evolution of Intel’s early chips.

The downfall of a prominent CEO offers a cautionary tale about the need for self-awareness and continual self-improvement: Jeff Kindler was forced to resign a little over four years after becoming Pfizer's CEO. One reason for his fall: As a leader, Kindler had a combative style, yet agonized over every decision and second-guessed everyone else’s.

The reason Taco Bell's admin team came up with its "Team of Two" training program is clear when you listen to admin Karen Walters describe managers in her building. "There were a few managers in the group who maybe weren't using admins to their greatest capabilities," explains Walters. "In their defense, they didn't have a good model." So the admin team decided to give them one...

By almost any standard, Sara Blakely was living an ordinary life. Blakely had never taken a business course and was clueless on patent law. But doggedly, without quitting her day job, she did the research and took time off to get her invention manufactured and sold. She named it SPANX ...

Suppose fall is the company’s busiest period of the year, a time for overtime and seven-day shifts. A veteran employee asks for time off so she could help chaperone her daughter’s class field trip, and you turn her down. She calls in sick on that date. What would you do?
At some point within the next decade, leaders of both large and small companies will have to make a strategic bet, perhaps even several. That’s why leaders must have the ability to see the need for a game-changing move and seize the moment. Do you have the fortitude for it?
To excel, fill your business with “good citizens” who go beyond duty to help each other and the organization. The key to growing good citizens? Autonomy.
Perhaps the biggest reason why Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler was pushed out of his job last year was that he trusted the wrong person to serve as the HR director. Here are five signs that an HR chief is trouble—and they’re not just unique to Pfizer:

Country music singer-songwriter Kenny Chesney has 120 employees on the road with him every day, so he can’t afford to fool around. On managing: He says, “I’m not that great with confrontation. But once I started to be OK with that, the better everybody’s life got ... If you don’t clear the air, with that many people together on the road, it can be just a mess. I think it’s helped me as a person."

With the increasing volume of work that everyone expects to get done, more of my clients are asking for help on improving their delegation skills. Based on the best practices of leaders who are really excellent at delegation, I’ve come up with a five-step approach called TRACK.