5 things I learned the hard way as a manager of managers

1) Adopt a good book

2) Learn to give great feedback and be Radically Candid

  • What do I really want for myself?
  • What do I really want for others?
  • What do I really want for the relationship?
  • How would I behave if I really wanted these results?
  • Share your facts. Start with the least controversial, most persuasive elements from your Path to Action.
  • Tell your story. Explain what you’re beginning to conclude.
  • Ask for others’ paths. Encourage others to share both their facts and their stories.
  • Talk tentatively. State your story as a story — don’t disguise it as a fact.
  • Encourage testing. Make it safe for others to express differing or even opposing views.

3) Learn to be a great teacher and coach

4) Learn how to stay connected to the people, teams and projects in your org

  • having a 1:1 with every new person that joins about 6 week after they start to mutually introduce ourselves and start to build a human relationship so that hopefully if they ever need to ask me something or we need to give each other the benefit of the doubt on something, that this will be possible.
  • have small-group skip level 1:1 where you meet with random groups of people and ask them how things are going
  • make sure you always know what the hardest problem/project on each team is. Schedule time to talk with the team directly to have them explain to you what they understand the business problem/opportunity to be and how they intend to solve it.
  • be as open, vulnerable, transparent and radically candid as possible in any group meeting / all-hands as possible.
  • send out status emails to your group explain what your goals are, what you’re doing and again be as pen, vulnerable, transparent and radically candid as possible. Model the behavior you’d like to see from others.
  • use anonymous surveys (like the google re:work one or culture amp) to get feedback on how you’re doing and how else you might improve in this area

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