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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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Training budgets are back. Many organizations that made double-digit cuts in training funding in 2008 and 2009 increased spending on employee development last year. If your organization is ready to reinvest in training, follow these 10 principles:
Bishop Richard E. Cox, president of the Dayton chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and a member of the group’s national board, has intervened in a dispute between Maumee-based Dana Corp., the union that represents workers there and black current and former employees.
Comcast employees who sign up to mentor local school children through Big Brothers Big Sisters can use the company’s facilities to meet with their “Littles” twice a month. The workplace mentoring program is part of the cable TV company’s $10 million national commitment to support the nonprofit.
If a star employee has ever surprised you during an exit interview by saying she had been dissatisfied with her job for a long time, you’re not alone. It’s common to find a vast divergence between employee satisfaction and management’s take on the situation. Managers frequently make five big mistakes that can send your valued employees packing. Luckily, they’re easy to fix.

Melissa Dyrdahl, a former executive at Adobe, sums up pretty well the essence of taking on a leadership role: You get rewarded in a company by doing your job really well. But when you get promoted into management, you have to stop being the doer and start being the leader. For some people, that is a difficult transition ...

The 3,000 military veterans, National Guard members and reservists who work for Gaithersburg, Md.-based Sodexo have their own club: the year-old HONOR group. The networking group within the giant food-services company offers support, guidance and resources to employees and families connected to the military.
Stay professional at virtual meetings ... Get free advice about running a business from Ask.Inc.com, launched last fall by Inc. magazine and answer site Mahalo ... Here's a suggestion for airport security ... Google co-founder Sergey Brin, having conquered search, has set his sights and his money on finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
Admins are taking on more responsibility and those who can help leadership reduce operating costs by securing more advantageous service contracts, streamline a process or reduce spending, for example, will score big points.

Here’s reassuring news to anyone who loathes a sycophant: According to new research out of Northwestern University and the University of Michigan, overt ingratiation can backfire. The research revealed that there is a wrong way and a right way to suck up. So what does work?

Your boss just delegated a task to you. Are you clear on exactly what level of authority you have in handling the task? Keep these five very different levels of delegation in mind, says Michael Hyatt, chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Some managers assume the best way to spur innovation is to convene a brainstorming meeting or focus group of customers. But such groups can block creativity even as they try to promote it.
Let your body language broadcast your confidence ... Keep track of your “must read” pile with Delicious.com. It’s a particularly useful tool for longer-term storage of important articles, and you can access it from any device ... On your résumé, list accomplishments, not just job duties.
When Vineet Nayar became president of HCL Technologies in 2005, the company’s growth had slowed. As the board asked Nayar to step into a leadership role, it made it clear: The time had come for something radical. These days, Nayar is that rare breed of leader who actually puts employee engagement first. Why does he do it?
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.
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