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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What are the most common foibles that cause promising leaders to fail? These are the traps that can bring you down:
It often happens that a leader’s early life tells volumes about his character. Here’s a story from U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., about his first job at a grocery store in Stotesbury, W.Va., a mining town where he’d worked his way up to meat cutter in 1935.
Ritz-Carlton President and COO Simon Cooper has a simple way of helping his people develop their leadership abilities. When someone has an idea and says “We can do it,” Cooper allows that person to lead the process, provided that he or she can develop a workable strategy.
After he’d already served as governor of New York, published more than a dozen books, served two terms as president of the United States and won the Nobel Peace Prize, Theodore Roosevelt said these words about leadership:
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.