Newsletter Issue 31

Every week or so, we send you our most recent blog posts on leadership, a new Heartbeat podcast episode, and recommended readings on management.

Subscribe to our Newsletter here.


From The Heartbeat Podcast: Interview with Joel Gascoigne, CEO + Co-founder of Buffer

Joel Gascoigne is the CEO and Co-Founder of Buffer, a social media management platform serving millions of people, and generating $19MM+ in annual revenue. As a remote company with 82 people, Joel shares why transparency helps him be less stressed less as a leader, the value of seeking opposing viewpoints, and why you should go slow to go fast.



Transcript of the interview is here.


What I’ve been reading lately

Why Teams Should Record Individual Expectations
“Gathering independent expectations from each stakeholder shifts everyone’s focus to the real point of interest: how the decision at hand is likely to play out in the future. Those expectations are still essentially guesses, but they’re tied to the appropriate context.” (You have to create an account to view the whole article, but totally worth it!)Written by Ken Favaro and Manish Jhunjhunwala, MIT Sloan Management Review

Good Leaders Don’t Disappear
“You can’t follow someone you can’t see. That is why visibility and transparency mean so much in the realm of leadership. They are not just buzzwords; they produce the visceral experiences and tangible markers both potential and current followers evaluate as they mediate their level of trust and commitment to a leader.”Written by Jesse Sostrin, strategy+business

Why Trump’s Unusual Leadership Style Isn’t Working in the White House
“As Doris Kearns Goodwin, the presidential historian and author of the recent book “Leadership: In Turbulent Times,” told me this week, Mr. Trump manifestly lacks a long list of traits associated with effective leadership: ‘humility, acknowledging errors, shouldering blame and learning from mistakes, empathy, resilience, collaboration, connecting with people and controlling unproductive emotions.’”Written by James B. Stewart, New York Times

Are Your High Expectations Hurting Your Team?
“This study of more than 300 executives in 10 countries shows that approximately 35% of executives fail because of a tendency toward perfection. That’s because achievement-oriented leaders tend to be chronically dissatisfied. While you may be thinking that you’re “just pushing them to be the best,” you may actually be setting them up to fail.”Written by Ron Carucci, Harvard Business Review

Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines: Learn to Listen, Improve Your EQ
“‘Involving more folks requires patience. And it requires putting your ego aside…We let our policy and procedures get in the way of doing the right thing.’”Written by Jennifer Luna, Insights by Stanford Business

Companies will perform better if employees are not cowed into silence
“Studies show that fear inhibits learning. And when confronted with a problem, scared workers find ways of covering it up or getting around it with inefficient practices. The answer is to create an atmosphere of “psychological safety” whereby workers can speak their minds.”Written by Ron Carucci, Harvard Business Review

Directly from my desk

The Mindset Shift: How to become a good new manager
“Becoming a new manager isn’t merely a change in what you do – it’s a change in how you think.”

Building trust in teams: What and why?
“Many leaders accidentally optimize for likability as a means to build trust. “

A handy leadership tip

From our online leadership community of almost 1,000 managers, in Know Your Team

What questions do you like to ask during a one-on-one meeting?

  • What advice do you have for me?
  • If they could be proud of one accomplishment between now and next year, what would it be?
  • How’s life?
  • What are worrying about right now?
  • As a manager, what can I do better?
  • Are there any blockers I can help you with?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to talk about this week?
  • What rumors are you hearing that I should know about?
  • If you start a project/company, would you want me to be on the team? If so, would it be an expert role or a managing role?
  • What are your biggest time wasters?
  • Is there something we should start doing as a team?
  • Would you like more or less direction from me?
  • Do you get enough feedback on your work? If no, what additional feedback would you like?

Wanting to learn more? We’ve got a Guide to One-on-One Meetings and tool for running one-on-ones all included in Know Your Team – you can check it out here.

Just for fun

How Restaurants Got So Loud
“Restaurants are so loud because architects don’t design them to be quiet. Much of this shift in design boils down to changing conceptions of what makes a space seem upscale or luxurious, as well as evolving trends in food service.”

Written by Claire Lew

CEO of Know Your Team. My mission in life is to help people become happier at work. Say hi to me on Twitter at @clairejlew.

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