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Newsletter Issue 52

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 Shane Parrish

In my very first episode of 2020, I’m honored to welcome Shane Parrish, Founder of Farnam Street, an online intellectual platform that helps hundreds of thousands of people all over the world make better decisions. I’m an avid blog reader and podcast listener of Farnam Street myself – and was eager to have Shane on the show to share his own experience and interpretation of leadership. While Business Insider has called him “Wall Street’s biggest influencer”, on The Heartbeat, Shane was incredibly frank in our podcast conversation about the things he didn’t know as a leader, and his own blindspots he’s learning about day-to-day.

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


❤️ If you’ve been enjoying The Heartbeat podcast, it’d mean the world to me if you wrote us a review on iTunes. The more reviews we have, the more we’re able to share all our lessons from leaders. Thank you! 🙏


Are you a new manager in 2020?

Here are the 5 essential reads from the KYT blog to start with…

What to do (and not do) during your first 2 weeks as a new manager
“You’ve just been promoted… Now what? Here’s what 1,000+ leaders across the world had to say about what a new manager should do during her first 2 weeks on the job.”

6 mistakes to avoid during your first 30 days as a new manager
“You’re bound to make mistakes as a new manager – but here are the biggest, most common pitfalls to avoid in your first 30 days as a new manager.”

The 3 best uses of an effective leader’s time
“What makes a good leader? Look at how you spend your time.”

14 questions to ask an underperforming employee during a one-on-one meeting
“When an employee is struggling, here’s what the best managers do.”

12 signs you’re becoming the bad boss you always dreaded
“How to know when you’re no longer being a good manager.”

What I’ve been reading lately

The Surprising Value of Obvious Insights
“Obvious insights can motivate us to close the knowing-doing gap. Common sense is rarely common practice. If you ask managers what effectiveness looks like, they often can spell out the critical factors. The key is to get them to act on that insight, and that’s where the obvious can help. We’re naturally creatures of social comparison: When we confront evidence about what good managers do, we want to see how we stack up. Just as you start conserving electricity when you get social proof that your neighbors are one-upping you, finding out that good managers meet individually with their direct reports every month can be enough to get you to step up.” Written by Adam Grant, MIT Sloan Management Review

The helix organization
“There are no easy answers to deep-rooted organizational dysfunction. However, we’re increasingly convinced that there is a simple, exciting, and effective structural model that can replace complex matrix structures and help leaders across industries and geographies who struggle with confusing roles and labored decision-making processes, and who feel they are failing to move quickly enough to exploit new market opportunities.” Written by Aaron De Smet, Sarah Kleinman, and Kirsten Weerda, McKinsey Quarterly

What to expect when your team grows from 10 to 20 people
“Policies written too early often won’t match the vibe of the company you’re trying to build, so waiting until things “break” is a great forcing function to know what’s important and what isn’t. I’m really happy we waited until we passed ten people before writing all of these down, but I’m glad we didn’t wait any longer than that.” Written by Spencer Fry, Founder at Podia

An interesting read…

To Pay Attention, the Brain Uses Filters, Not a Spotlight
Fascinating piece on some recent research that improves our understanding of exactly how we pay attention.


Tools + services to support you as a leader

🌟 Know Your Team gives you tools to run one-on-one meetings, get honest feedback, and get daily team status updates, all in one place. We save you a bit of time and give you a framework for doing this all well as a manager, based on research over the past six years with 15,000+ people. Give Know Your Team a spin today

🌟 In case you missed it, I’m now offering 1:1 leadership coaching for a limited number of folks. After almost 10 years of working with executives, managers, and CEOs, I’m excited to return to my roots with coaching. If you’re interested in working together, you can learn more here.


What do ya think of this newsletter?

❤️ I’d love to know what you think of this newsletter. Anything you’d like to see featured, or for me to write about? Please reply directly here – and your response goes straight to me, Claire, CEO of Know Your Team. Additionally, if you’ve been enjoying these newsletters and interviews over the past few years, it’d mean the world to me if you wrote us a review on iTunes. The more reviews we have, the more we’re able to share all our lessons from leaders. Thank you! 🙏

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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