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.

“If only I had a bigger budget (for my department or my company), all my problems would disappear.” You’ve likely had a similar thought at some point. But is it true? Great companies, and leaders, excel at finding a frugal path when solving problems.

Don’t forget to ask the simplest question of all before you develop a new product or service for customers: What’s the unmet need? If you fail to learn the answer to that question, even the best salesperson will have trouble pushing a product or service into the market.

Ford Motor, led by CEO Alan Mulally, is fighting for American manufacturing with a single strategy: simplify. This One Ford strategy means selling the same model, built the same way, in all markets.

Customers love telling about their experiences. They tweet about the latest movie they saw. They Facebook about their favorite restaurant. “Companies that aren’t embracing social media today are missing out on huge opportunities to capitalize on the voices of their customers,” says Ron Kaufman.

In 2005, Gen. David Petraeus understood that the U.S. military’s “seek and destroy” strategy against insurgents in Iraq wasn’t working. So, he rewrote the book … literally. At the heart of his new strategy lie three paradoxes relevant to leaders in all settings who face a formidable challenge (or enemy):

Get it done with virtual assistants: Task services are the new office assistants ... Real research shows: When making research-based decisions, how to tell when research is sound? ... New paradigm: Science writer James Gleick thinks the basis of the universe isn’t matter or energy, but data.
One of CEO Joel Manby’s most memorable lessons in leadership came from Miss Pray, his seventh-grade teacher in Battle Creek, Mich. She said, “You have the natural ability to be a great leader, but you are going to have to fix your listening skills or you will be limited in how far you can go.”
PROBLEM: You give a series of sterling evaluations to one of your employees and she suddenly asks, “If I’m so good, why is it that I’m never considered for promotion around here?” How should you respond?
One of the greatest philosophers ever known was a master of asking questions. Instead of lecturing, Socrates posed a series of thought-provoking questions to his Greek students. How can you use the Socratic Method as you lead others?

Let’s have another look at Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who ditched a commercial jetliner in the Hudson River with no loss of life, as a study of leadership in crisis. In a crisis, there's no time for debate. Just good training, quick orientation and assessment, calm decisions and immediate action. Five lessons we can take away: