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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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Job-search site Indeed.com analyzed millions of job listings on its site and found that these are the top 10 professional attributes most often found in employers’ job postings:
Encourage your people to take risks? The very idea is enough to make many CEOs shudder. Doug Stern, CEO of United Media, follows an explicit process anytime he faces a new, risky project. He uses the same tactics to help his team evaluate risks and build its confidence about confronting the unknown:

The entrepreneurial ego is an interesting thing. It takes a significant amount of self-confidence to be a founder and assume the risk required to build a successful business. While relying on your ego in the early growth stages of your business may be critical, at some point, an entrepreneur is well served to rely more on evidence than ego.

It’s not too late to get your team’s momentum going, so they’re invigorated by 2011's new year's goals. Here are 10 steps blogger Terry Starbucker recommends:

As a management professor at Stanford, Robert Sutton heard many tales of woe that led to his business best-seller, The No Asshole Rule, whose thesis was simple: Don’t hire jerks. Beyond jerkdom, however, Sutton has a few suggestions about how to behave and how not to behave as a leader:

With 18 minutes, 20 sticks of spaghetti, a yard of tape, a yard of string and one marshmallow, Tom Wujec believes he can tell you how innovative any team is. Here’s how:

Most Americans first became aware of former U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen when he led the disaster response to Hurricane Katrina following the dismissal of FEMA director Michael Brown. Leading in a crisis situation is tough and Admiral Allen leaves us with 3 leadership lessons we can all take away.
If you’re the boss, it’s worth thinking about what kind of weather system you’re creating. Warm front or cold front? Sunny and pleasant or stormy and blustery? How do these weather systems affect the team’s results? If you’re interested in becoming a more effective leadership meteorologist, here are a few things to pay attention to:
Think of the workplace as rugby, where each person has value. On the rugby field, your physical safety depends on your teammates. In that sense, every member of a team has value and could be the one to save your hide. That’s a lesson learned by Andrew Cosslett, CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group, over the 25 years he played the game.

Retail managers are generally responsible for everything that happens in their stores. But they often spend most of their time doing the same work that hourly employees do. Even so, they may qualify as exempt employees under the FLSA. It’s the quality of the management work they do that counts, not the number of hours they spend doing it.

It’s not quite clear to me why it took a recession for organizations to rid their staffs of employees who weren’t pulling their weight. Finally, the air is being let out of this balloon—and you probably knew which people your organization needed and which it didn’t, way before the economy turned south.

With everything on your radar during the workday, it’s easy to forget about employee morale. But keeping the team engaged isn’t something that can be ignored or postponed. To keep morale on your radar, be aware of some of the common management mistakes that undermine it. Here are nine main deflators of employee morale, plus tips on avoiding them:

You don’t need the word “chief” in your title to act as a leader to the troops. Show that you possess the qualities to lead a team by exhibiting these leadership traits:

Narcissism is both a creative and a destructive force. It can drive corporate success when leaders blend their own search for self-improvement with improvement of their companies’ performance. But it also can run amok and cause corporate meltdowns. Self-awareness can break the destructive pattern of narcissism, says a top gun on leadership, Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries.

As a leader, are you making it clear which level of authority you are conferring when you delegate a task? Keep these five very different levels of delegation in mind, says Michael Hyatt, chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers:

The concept of the “complete leader” who has it all figured out is finally bowing before the sheer complexity of modern problems. After working with hundreds of people who struggled under the old myth, researchers at the MIT Sloan School of Management and MIT Leadership Center have come up with a new theory: distributed leadership.

A leader’s ideas are only as good as his ability to cut through the noise. Consider how RIM CEO Jim Balsillie introduced the BlackBerry PlayBook—his company’s answer to the iPad. His words might be brilliant, if only anyone could understand them. And the PlayBook might be a superior product, if only leadership could sell it.

From the ranting heard at political protests and on reality TV, it’s clear these are angry times. The problem is that many of us don’t know how to effectively handle an angry ranter when confronted with one. We can learn much from customer service professionals, who have honed their skills in defusing a hothead—and not taking it personally.

Teachers at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School call working from home a “primo perk.” A high percentage of the school’s 600 employees are young, so the organization focuses its benefits on the needs of the twenty- and thirtysomethings who work there.
After the death of George Steinbrenner, people asked whether a lower-key approach by the New York Yankees owner could have accomplished just as much. Research suggests that you need a balance between drive and domination. Steinbrenner’s hero—surprise!—was Gen. George Patton.
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