Newsletter Issue 46

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 Tim O’Reilly

Tim O’Reilly is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media – a company that delivers online learning, publishes books, runs conferences, but more than anything, supports the spread of innovative ideas in changing the world. Tim, after all, helped coin the terms “open source software” and “Web 2.0.” In Tim’s own words, he believes in “creating more value than you capture” – and that leadership is a big part of that. I’ve been a huge fan of Tim’s for years, and so it was a true honor to have him on the podcast. Catch our full conversation below…

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 motivate employees? Don’t.
“Motivation is not a thing we give to people – motivation a thing people already have. Employees inherently have energy, ideas, gifts, and talents that are worth being shared with the world. We, as leaders, simply need to get out of their way and create a space for that energy, ideas, gifts, and talents to thrive.”

7 ways of giving feedback that encourage change
“Based on our methodology we’ve developed at Know Your Team over the past five years with data from 15,000+ people in over 25 countries, here are my suggestions for how to give feedback in a way that truly helps nudge your team’s behavior in the direction you want it to go.”

What I’ve been reading lately

From 0 to 10: Our bumpy (but worth it!) road to a co-created culture
“In 2012, we held our first in-person company retreat. We felt that bringing the whole team together would fix a lot of things — that we’d quickly move past those underlying tensions, build deeper relationships, and plot a path forward. Boy, were we in for a wakeup call. Colleagues who we’d convinced ourselves were “getting along fine” griped, fought, and walked out of meetings. People talked over and past each other and clung tightly to their own perspectives and desires.” Written by Ben Congleton, CEO of Olark (you can watch Ben’s episode on the Heartbeat here)

What choral singing can teach us about leadership
“In a chorus, it’s not about overpowering another voice, but adjusting one’s tune to create a harmony, says Patty Cuyler, co-director of Village Harmony, an organization that convenes community choirs around Chicago and also helped facilitate the U of C class. “It’s the sum of the parts and the individuals don’t count as much as what you do to make everyone sound good,” she explained. “If that’s not a great model for working in a business, I don’t know what is.”” Written by Anne Quito, Quartz at Work

What to Say When Your Employee Makes a Mistake
“This kind of future-focused question allows Tom to acknowledge his mistake and demonstrate his learning. It will reinforce both people’s confidence in Tom’s abilities while also giving Jeffrey the opportunity to point out any further problematic patterns in Tom’s thinking — in a way that could help Tom make better decisions in the future instead of just making him feel bad in the present.” Written by Peter Bregman, Harvard Business Review

Using Neuroscience to Make Feedback Work and Feel Better
“Research has found roughly 87 percent of employees want to “be developed” in their job, but only a third report actually receiving the feedback they need to engage and improve. The reason for the gap is hardly a mystery: Typical feedback conversations are about as pleasant as a root canal.” Written by David Rock, Beth Jones, and Chris Weller, strategy+business

A handy leadership tip

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

What is critical to your employee onboarding process?

  • Mentorship – At many companies, new hires are usually paired with the lead as a mentor (or a more senior person). One company mentioned how the new hire sits right next to their mentor in the office.
  • Weekly one-on-ones – During the first month, the new hire has weekly one-on-ones with the lead/mentor (and a couple with the CEO as well). After the first month, the one-on-ones slow down to a more moderate pace such as biweekly or once a month.
  • Nailing the basics – Many companies have a document that explains processes and details like getting their computer all configured. Other companies set up the new person’s desk with welcome notes, headphones, etc. and/or have a office seating chart with everybody’s name so they know who is who.
  • A clear first project – One recommendation is to design what the first month of the new hire will look like project-wise. What will they be responsible for, and what’s the ideal outcome? You want to have something to help the person get onboarded and acquainted with the company, but also have the feeling of accomplishment at the same time.
  • A scavenger hunt – At one company, they institute a scavenger hunt completed during the first week of every employee’s time at the company. This scavenger hunt is entirely self-directed and includes activities in some key areas:
    • Boring but necessary new hire stuff (direct deposit set up, benefits, etc.)
    • Company history (questions about key accounts and a piece of trivia about every member of the team)
    • Activities to complete (attend several different types of meetings to understand what everyone in different positions does, interview a % of the company, improve the scavenger hunt, present a short intro about yourself in staffing)

You can read more insights from managers about how to onboard a new hire well here.

Just for fun

The Age of American Despair
Perhaps not a “fun” topic, but a sobering, interesting read, nonetheless.

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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