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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Brazilian equipment supplier Semco has grown an average 27.5 percent a year for 14 years, despite wild fluctuations in Brazil’s economy. The reason: Semco’s radical use of participative management. Of the employees’ 3,000 votes, CEO Ricardo Semler gets only one.
You can’t make a sound decision when you’re juggling lots of activities at the same time, says innovation consultant Luda Kopeikina. Instead, you need to reach the same kind of “clarity state” that top athletes reach in competition. To get there, these four factors should be working for you:
People micromanage because they’re afraid. They’re scared about competition, finances, succession, lawsuits, you name it. Uncertainty poses a threat, fear kicks in, and then it’s way too easy to jump in and seize control.
Even if you earned every bit of what you’ve achieved, you’ll win over more followers and avoid any taint of arrogance if you show gratitude. Take Don Cooper, pitching coach for the Chicago White Sox and the man perhaps most responsible for leading this team of castoffs into last fall’s World Series.
You might blame sluggishness, complacency, arrogance or bureaucracy when your organization sinks into deep trouble. All those things matter, but management guru Peter Drucker showed us that none of them may be the main culprit.
Robert Crandall headed engineering and manufacturing at Eastman Kodak during the “copier wars” with Xerox back in the 1970s. He faced two problems:
Most business leaders would rather pay a celebrity $1,000 a minute for a “motivational” talk than bring in somebody who’d actually provide hands-on, tactical training, says Steve Salerno, author of SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless.
Instead of handing out an agenda, start your next problem-solving meeting by providing nothing more than information about the problem. Then, watch how people process it.
Here’s how an American up-and-comer trained for a senior management job at one of Toyota’s U.S. plants, and the four main lessons his training yielded:
When you have to deliver bad news to your people, follow this protocol that medical doctors use to tell patients about dire prognoses:
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