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Best-Practices Leadership

A leader in an organization can’t do everyone’s job. Instead of micromanaging, strong leaders use organizational leadership to coordinate, communicate, motivate and delegate among employees and team members. For comprehensive organizational effectiveness, each individual needs to be seen as a contributor, with the leader at the helm.

Most importantly, best-practices leadership involves keeping employees motivated throughout the process, adapting your scope or strategy as necessary, and developing an effective communication strategy.

Some people never make it to the other side because they’re more successful at being doers. This is a crucial point in determining if you’re going to move up the ranks.

Browse our articles, tools and advice on best-practices leadership.

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Few execs start off with the intent to lie or defraud. Instead, they make the mistake of getting ensnared by one seemingly minor infraction. How does many a downfall escalate from there?

Scott Cook, co-founder and chairman of Intuit, has built a huge company helping executives make decisions using his financial management software. Yet Cook frowns on financial forecasting. In fact, he requests that his employees avoid spending time forecasting the numbers relating to their unit’s sales and expenses.

When you’re not clear on what you do best, your company’s identity and marketing message get so diluted they don’t resonate with anyone. That’s why it’s important to have a clear mental picture of your ideal client.
Every business needs repeat business to remain competitive, so don’t put all your efforts into attracting new customers. Make sure you are giving lots of love to your existing customers too.
When Mattel hired Richard Dickson as general manager of its Barbie brand in 2008, the famous doll was in a lull. After hitting a high of $1.52 billion in ­Barbie sales in 2002, Mattel had struggled through a six-year decline. Dickson hit the ground running to put an end to "brand goulash."
The story of the man CNBC named one of the worst American CEOs of all time teaches a lesson in how to conduct yourself with employees.
In late 2008, Domino’s market share was plummeting. Instead of blaming collapsing sales on the nation’s economic downturn, executives chose a surprising strategy: They admitted their main product—pizza—wasn’t very good. Then Patrick Doyle took it a step further.

In theory, strategic planning sounds great: You gather top thinkers in a room and brainstorm. But for Jim Estill, former CEO of Synnex Canada and now a partner in a venture capital firm, strategic thinking requires inspiration. He finds that it doesn’t happen on demand, so he lays the groundwork and stays attuned to insights that can arise at any time.

Prioritizing your workday is easy when your job consists of a small handful of tasks. But for most of us, dozens of pressing issues jockey for our attention. Step back and assess what matters most. Treat your time as a finite resource and allocate every hour wisely.

Ask yourself the three things T. Boone Pickens does ... Beware the trappings of success ... Be aware that leadership is just as important as ever.
Sony once demonstrated the wrong way to handle a crisis.

Would-be leaders can limit their effectiveness by clinging to self-defeating actions and attitudes. In your rush to succeed, it’s easy to overreach and alienate potential allies. Avoid these four common traps to strengthen your ability to lead over the long term.

To keep your people and products in the lead spot, think the way an investor would in scrutinizing the value proposition of your company. Sound hard? It’s easy. Take these three steps.

As a young child in northern Sweden, Yngve Bergqvist spent much of his time shoveling snow. Years later, he was so accustomed to snow and ice that he built a thriving business around it. Bergqvist decided to create a hotel made entirely of ice. It seemed crazy, but the concept worked.
Just one item, says author Greg McKeown on LinkedIn.
Take some comfort in some historic business mistakes ... Say "no" to corporatespeak ... Don’t sacrifice quality.
After more than two years of testing a Doritos-flavored taco shell, Taco Bell still had not signed a contract to partner with the company that made Doritos. So as the date neared for a major launch, CEO Greg Creed invited Frito-Lay’s CEO to a meeting where they forged a handshake deal. Creed’s eagerness to forge ahead without an official contract paid off.
Many company owners and CEOs are unaware (or unwilling) to look at the numbers in front of them and too quick to listen to surrounding “yes men.” Are you?

The constant push to add new projects can stymie your team’s success. Adopting a less-is-more philosophy can free up time for those high-priority tasks that merit the most attention.

In 1991, Jerry Sternin headed to Vietnam. His goal: to fight child malnutrition in poor villages. Sternin isolated the few people who were modeling problem-solving behavior when most were following negative patterns. He thus dis­­covered what the “positive deviants” did to produce such superior results.
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