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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You can say a lot in five minutes or less, but less time for a speech means more planning. Here are 3 tips for doing it.

You’ve got to hand John Mackey credit for creating Whole Foods, sweeping out dusty old organic markets and ushering in a new era of green grocers. Despite his air of certitude, one of the secrets to Mackey’s success is his ability to change his mind.

Under both federal and some state laws, certain information must be posted on a bulletin board where all employees can see it.

Anson Dorrance, the head coach of women’s soccer at the University of North Carolina, has an astonishing record. He has won more games than any coach in college soccer history, along with 21 NCAA Championship titles. Dorrance, 65, seeks to enhance each player’s character. He doesn’t just focus on winning; instead, he strives to make each player a better person.

The Washington Nationals baseball club has led its division in the National League for most of this season, and much of the credit is going to its skipper, Dusty Baker. A former player himself, Baker is known for his homespun and quirky comments, but in fact he is a fierce competitor with a seemingly natural ability to lead.

Looking for ways to show your employees and co-workers how much you value them? Use these compliments that people love to hear and brighten someone’s day.
A worker has fouled up big time—severely enough to justify immediate termination. Yet you feel like he may deserve a second chance. Here’s how you can go about giving it to him.

Part of the job of a military leader involves helping raw recruits gain confidence so that they feel like they belong in the unit. Otherwise, their self-doubt can make them a liability to the team.

Part of the job of a military leader involves helping raw recruits gain confidence so that they feel like they belong in the unit. Otherwise, their self-doubt can make them a liability to the team.

As a new fighter pilot, JV Venable recalls the day he participated in his first operational fighter squadron. In poor weather, Venable was among four jets forced to fly a complex maneuver in the skies over Turkey. He did not execute well.

While he landed safely, he knew his squad noticed his shaky piloting. Because he was new to the unit, he worried that he had lost any chance to establish credibility.

In the van heading home, the most respected member of the squad, Bill “Blaze” Binger, exclaimed, “I got to tell you boys, that was one of the worst approaches of my life. I was all over the sky and never did settle into a smooth rhythm. It was mighty ugly!”

Venable suddenly relaxed. He figured that if the team leader felt so disappointed in his performance, Venable’s mistakes didn’t stand out as much.

“If someone with his experience and reputation could fly a bad approach, then maybe I wasn’t so bad after all,” Venable thought. 

Later, Venable realized that Binger had been flying right behind him—and could see Venable’s every bob and weave. It made Venable appreciate Binger’s self-criticism even more.

“To this day, I don’t know if he was really talking about himself,” Venable says. “Or if he was trying to let me know that even the best fall short every now and then.”

Venable went on to lead the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and a combat group of 1,100 airmen in the Persian Gulf.

— Adapted from “Building Commitment on Your Team,” JV Venable, www.greatleadershipbydan.com.
Sometimes, the best meetings follow an unconventional path. Rather than stick to an all-business agenda, some leaders experiment with different types of gatherings to encourage participants to loosen up.
Soon after Steve Cannon became president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA in 2012, he launched an ambitious, long-term initiative to upgrade customer service, stating, "This is going to be my legacy."
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