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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Ping Fu’s first 23 years were marked by imprisonment and torture in China, first as a child and later for dutifully researching, as assigned, the country’s epidemic of infanticide. Locked for days alone in utter darkness, she hoped her execution would be quick. Instead, officials exiled her to America.
When he spoke at the opening of his 1964 trial, Nelson Mandela never denied that he planned sabotage against the white South African government. In fact, he painstakingly explained his rationale for violence, having concluded that peaceful means to gaining civil rights for blacks were not working.
Germany’s new chancellor, Angela Merkel, already is showing skill as a conciliator in piecing together her coalition government from an array of bitter rivals. A big part of that skill rests on her mastery of communication: Merkel doesn’t seek attention, but when she’s got it, she speaks the bitter truth—die bittere Wahrheit, in German—without being abrasive.
One of the most common blunders leaders make is ignoring the obvious. Three ways to avoid that fate:
You’ll know you’ve made it as a leader when your enemies sit up and take notice. In the case of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, his enemies’ kinder labels for him include “New York’s other liberal senator” and “perhaps the key Democrat” on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which played a major role in vetting President Bush’s two recent successful Supreme Court nominations.
When John H. Slade died, one obituary made a telling error in saying that he had worked at Bear Stearns for “seven centuries.” Actually, it was only seven decades.
Using the “do first” approach, you and your team spend very little time defining the problem you’re facing. You simply decide on one or two first steps and move ahead with them.
For a while now, General Electric’s top dogs have been studying companies they admire, like Dell and Toyota, seeing how they do things and trying to figure out exactly what propels them to the leading edge. The GE group settled on five “growth leadership traits” common to all of those top companies … and copied them, of course.
Somebody who’s shown no creative spark in 20 years is not going to light up after a seminar. Instead, says Transmeta founder and Bell Labs alumnus Dave Ditzel, you need talent spotters.
One of the greatest orators of the 20th century focused on his audience’s viewpoint, used rat-a-tat repetition, then switched tone to add power to his speeches. In March 1968, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed a church full of striking black sanitation workers in Memphis after police had attacked them with truncheons and mace. Study these examples for some basic training on improving your delivery: