Management in Ten Tweets

Mark Hedlund dropped some thoughts on Twitter that I’ve seen re-shared quite a bit. It’s titled Management in Ten Tweets and contains a lot of awesome, actionable pieces for leaders.

Reiterating the first tweet, “Management is hard. Doing it well matters.” I would also add that investing in yourself and learning how to improve as a leader matters as well. Leadership is not some innate skill you don’t have to work on. It takes work. Read about it. Learn from others. Share what you’re learning.

Sidenote: It was also my first real exposure to Moments on Twitter. Seems like a pretty interesting concept (WordPress supports embeds automatically—awesome).

Tips for Effective 1-1’s

I’ve been really digging the information that Lighthouse has been putting out on their blog and the discussions they’ve started on their Twitter account. Recently, they posted this piece on having effective 1-1 meetings with your manager.

Regular 1-1’s are incredibly important, but far too often, I think they’re scheduled out of necessity (“I guess we have to do it”). Instead, they should be something you look forward to in your week, a discussion about career goals, team dynamics, and big picture items.

Regardless of whether you lead a team, I would recommend giving this a read and implementing the various points. One thing I’ve recently tried to implement—avoiding status updates:

When a manager or team member says they don’t see the value of 1 on 1 meetings, it’s a virtual certainty they spend most of the meeting talking about projects and status updates. That’s a huge waste.

Hungry for more? Here’s how I run 1-1’s.

Two Leadership Lessons From Bill Walsh

Bill Walsh is the former head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and a Pro Football Hall of Fame member. When he took over the 49ers, they were without a doubt one of the worst teams in the NFL. In just three short seasons, he took them to a Super Bowl championship. In fact, during his time in SF, he won three Super Bowls and popularized a new type of offense—the West Coast offense.

I recently finished reading his book The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy on Leadership. Overall, I thought the book was okay—definitely worth a read but not a book I’ll re-read again down the line (full recap coming soon). However, two distinct points did stand out—how Walsh introduced a standard of performance and engineered a “team first” atmosphere.

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Developing a Process for Better 1 on 1’s

As a team lead at Automattic, I have a weekly one on one meeting with everyone on my team. We’re a small team (seven total people), but it’s the top priority in my week. After all, my main responsibility is to help the team function better. A natural first step is to meet with those individuals on a regular basis and ask things like “How can I best help you?”

Initially, the chats had very little structure. As the team was first getting started, I setup 30 minute slots with everyone, and we just talked (mostly work, but anything really). Through much trial and error and after learning from colleagues, the process has evolved. Here are some of the approaches that have had the biggest impact.

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