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.

First, find your bearings: “What is the first question a sailor asks when he is in trouble?” a sea captain asks. “What he asks is, ‘Where am I?’”
Six Los Angeles-area soda company employees will share a whopping $17.7 million in damages awarded after they successfully sued the Dr Pepper Snapple Group and related companies for age discrimination.
Forget the theory about “learning styles.” Instead, mix things up when you teach or coach.
Employers that punish some em­­ployees more leniently than others for breaking the same rule are asking for trouble. That’s especially true when a lesser offense seems to have warranted especially harsh punishment.
Some employees don’t take direction well. One approach turns such employees around: Insist that the employee sign on to a performance improvement plan. If he refuses to cooperate, document that refusal. You can then safely terminate the employee for insubordination.
Do you evaluate employees’ overall performance and then conduct a special appraisal to determine extra rewards such as bonuses? If so, make sure both processes paint a true performance picture and don’t contradict each other.
Bill Gates said, “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” It’s true, says leadership guru John Kotter: High achievers tend to feel content with the status quo.

Employees who survived the downturn have absorbed work left behind by laid-off co-workers. “Overwhelmed” is here to stay. As an HR pro, you might not be able to help employees embrace that sad fact, but you definitely can help them manage it. Here’s how:

Talk about timing. As the economy tanked, Ellen Kullman, long on the short list of possible chiefs at DuPont, became president on Oct. 1, 2008, and CEO a few months later. As the chemical company’s sales fell, Kullman had to decide what should and shouldn’t change. Organizing the company to respond to these trends, Kullman decided on four principles:

What attribute is most needed by ­leaders today? “Realistic optimism,” according to Justin Menkes, an expert in evaluating C-suite executives and author of Better Under Pressure.