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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As you look back over the past few years, can you identify critical projects that you thought about but never started? Can you justify your inaction through lack of time or uncooperative colleagues? If so, you may have caved in to a simple lack of willpower, which two authors of a new book identify as a common leadership problem.
Good managers are rare birds, and great leaders are even rarer, says management consultant Marcus Buckingham. That’s because leaders are unflinchingly, unfailingly optimistic. Here are Buckingham’s three requirements for a great leader:
Show that you’re a leader who’s on top of thing.
Not only do real leaders never cheat, but they never take unfair advantage. That may raise eyebrows in an environment where businesspeople press for every advantage, but petrochemical tycoon Jon Huntsman says that, after negotiating a deal, both sides need to feel like winners ... so they’ll come back and do business together again.
Here’s one kind of fear that you want your people to feel: the fear that your organization will fail. The right and wrong ways to encourage that kind of fear:
It looks like a chunky pepper grinder, but the world’s first pocket calculator—mechanical, not electronic— came into this world only through utter persistence.
Even in grim circumstances, hope is what keeps leaders going. Certainly, that was the case for Lt. Bob Dole, who took a hit during World War II and lost the use of his right arm.
“Our keynote speaker just cancelled,” the caller says, “and we were wondering if we could ask you to take her place. The problem is, we need you to do it in three days.” Think you can’t give a top-notch speech on such short notice? You can if you take this approach:
Famed mountain trapper Kit Carson once tried to rescue a captive, Mrs. James White, from some Apaches. Carson caught up with the natives who held her and might have been able to save her, but his commander refused to let him attack. The commander mistakenly thought the Apaches might want to negotiate.
Male leaders can do a lot worse than getting in touch with their trendy “feminine side.” At least, that’s what a new study by management consulting firm Caliper indicates. The research, which assessed 59 women leaders and compared them with a representative sample of their male peers, pinpoints women’s particular strengths. Namely:
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