Newsletter Issue 43

Every few weeks, I ask one question to a founder, CEO, manager, or business owner I respect…

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The Heartbeat Podcast: A chat with Chip Conley


Listen to the podcast and read the transcript of the interview here.

Have you been enjoying these Heartbeat episodes, lately? If so, it’d mean the world to me if you wrote us a review in iTunes. The more reviews we have, the more we’re able to share all our lessons from leaders. Thank you! <3


What I’ve been writing lately

How to build social connection in a remote team
“According to a survey we ran this past fall with 297 remote managers and employees, “fostering a sense of connection without a shared location” was seen as the #1 most difficult part of being a remote manager – and the #1 most difficult part of working remotely, in general.”

The 9 best interview questions to ask according to 1,000+ managers
“You only have one hour with this person, so you need to decide: What are the best interview questions to ask them?”

What I’ve been reading lately

Why the Most Productive People Don’t Always Make the Best Managers
“Nearly one-quarter (23%) of the leaders who are in the top quartile on productivity are below the top quartile on these six leadership-oriented skills. So, the odds are that one out of four times a person is promoted to a leadership position because of their outstanding productivity, they will end up being a less effective leader than expected.” Written by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, Harvard Business Review

Goals Gone Wild: The Systematic Side Effects of Over-Prescribing Goal Setting
“Advocates of goal setting have had a substantial impact on research, management education, and management practice. In this article, we argue that the beneficial effects of goal setting have been overstated and that systematic harm caused by goal setting has been largely ignored. We identify specific side effects associated with goal setting, including a narrow focus that neglects non-goal areas, a rise in unethical behavior, distorted risk preferences, corrosion of organizational culture, and reduced intrinsic motivation.” Written by Lisa D. Ordóñez, Maurice E. Schweitzer, Adam D. Galinsky, and Max H. Bazerman

Why Teams Still Need Leaders
“Hierarchy does not have to mean less autonomy. For example, when I talk to the CEOs of companies doing really well with a remote-work model — I’m thinking about Automattic, which owns WordPress, or 10up, a successful web-design company — they emphasize the need for structure. In practice, this means that they put much more effort into coordinating how people work together than other companies. They formalize role descriptions and onboarding better, and they’re more intentional and specific in their recruiting and hiring.” Lindred (Lindy) Greer, interviewed by Frieda Klotz, MIT Sloan Management Review

Develop better leadership habits to thrive in an age of information overload
“Instead of reducing things to an either/or disposition, which can create false and anxiety-provoking dilemmas, dialectical thinking embraces a combination of this and that. It’s a mind-set that widens the aperture and considers opposing views not as incompatible, but as potential source material for new and unexpected combinations of ideas and insights. Without this bridge making embedded into your thinking, you’re left with limiting choices.” Written by Jesse Sostrin, strategy + business

A handy leadership tip

From our online leadership community of 1,000+ managers in The Watercooler in Know Your Team

How to give feedback to team member who isn’t your direct report

  • Worth having a joint meeting with you, the other director and the employee, if you haven’t already.
  • Anchor feedback around organizational desired outcome you both want: What do you both what the project outcome to be? What do you want the organizational outcome to be?
  • Have you and/or their direct manager be more direct and candid. E.g., “We’ve spoken several times and I felt we had a common understanding yet we are still consistently experiencing the issues we’ve talked about. Why is that?”
  • Try asking open-ended questions (i.e., something other than yes/no) to the problematic colleague to see if their view of reality (or your expectations of them) match yours.
  • Ask the team member what they would do to resolve the issue if they were in your position.
  • Seek to build a foundation of trust. Try approaching the person with intent to learn more about them. You may be surprised with what you learn. Often it’s great additional perspective that you may not currently have. Your act of listening will pave the first pieces of that trust foundation.

Just for fun

Artist Tom Sachs Teaches Us How to Learn How to Surf
I started surfing more recently, and this piece has been a lovely companion.

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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