Gary Allison's Leadership Blog

Effective Software Projects and Leadership and Teams07 Jan 2013 07:31 pm

Just read this post from today and wanted to share as well as pile on: Learn about your managers through the people they manage
by Richard Rosenblatt.
 On understanding what is really going on in your organization, Richard recommends

So, how do you get a more multi-dimensional perspective on how your direct reports are doing? It’s easy. Spend time with their peers and direct reports.

In practical terms, I recommend using one-on-ones with all your direct reports and augment this with skip level on-on-ones over lunch.  I also have found that round table lunches with non-manager thought leaders in the team are invaluable in gaining feedback and also suggestions for improving the team.

If you feel you don’t have enough time for one-on-ones with your team, I encourage you to read Ben Horowitz’ blog from last August on the topic.

I’ve worked for CEO’s that used skip level one-on-ones and hallway conversations to both keep their finger on pulse on the business but also to help understand what was really working in the organization.  Personally, I never felt threatened by this because of the utmost trust I have in my teams but also because we were talking frequently in our one-on-ones.

This emphasis on transparency builds trust and trust is an essential ingredient for winning teams.

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