Since the outbreak of Covid-19 at the beginning of this year. We have seen the leadership of different nations approach this immense challenge in their own ways. More then ever the effects of leadership is showing its results in the most dramatic manner. What is true for a country is the same for an organization or team.
This reminded me of The Knowledge Project Podcast, where Jeff Hunter the CEO of Talentism is interviewed. He was the head of recruiting for the investment firm Bridgewater and has been working on unlocking human potential for decades.
The interview touches many subjects, but I love how he explains what good leadership and management is. Something that in these weird times is extra important.
🧠 We have unchallenged believes about ourselves
Most of us think and believe that:
A: We are perceiving reality accurately
B: Our perception of reality is not only accurate but valid
C: If it’s obvious to us, it must be obvious to others
None of these things are true. It reminded me of a questionnaire I once send out asking people in which area of my work, I should improve. Most people thought I had to improve in their own area of expertise haha. This shows how we – without having any bad intentions – perceive and make sense of the world, company or team.
🤯 Complexity & Confusion
Complexity leads to confusion. The most important job of a manager is to focus on clarity. And certainly not on control. When human beings have sense of understanding the goals, how we measure these goals and the culture that comes with it. They want to achieve those goals. They inherently want to be good at these things. You fail as a manager if you have to clarify your set of expectations, what these things mean and why they are important. You set up a condition for confusion when you are not clear about what the goals are.
🌈 💰Goals & Measuring
It is very common for executives and managers to be not explicit about their goals. Most often we just show up and work on the things that are present and right in front of us.
A: be very explicit about the goals. Where are we going.
B: be very explicit on how you are getting there.
Human beings don’t only need a point on the horizon, they need to know if they are actually making progress. This is where a set of clear KPI’s or OKR’s or what-ever method you use comes in place. Designing and implementing a constant feedback loop from KPI’s to your goals and daily work.
This is something that I tried to do at mobile at the beginning of this year – but really didn’t do it well enough. The goal was clear – 380m revenue and 100% quality of core features – but the underlying KPI framework was too complex and not actionable. We are designing a new goal and KPI framework right now and see if we can do better.
Most culture statements are more of a marketing statement used for recruiting purposes and corporate vision mumbo jumbo. It works a lot better if you are very clear about what behavior is expected and what behavior is rewarded and punished. Just be clear on how we act around this team or company.
👑 🏋️♀️Leadership & management The main objective is to clarify on what the goals are. And have everyone focusing their limited energy and cognitive space in the same direction. People want to work and feel good about their work. But there is a big difference between a sense of progress (lots of meetings and being busy) and actual progress towards the goals of the organization.
🥐 In essence it boils down to this:
A: What problem are we solving that earn us a living.
B: For who are we solving this problem.
C: What are our goals on how to solve this problem even better
D: How do we measure if we are getting closer to our goals
Like good all products- the essence is always very simple and super hard to reach. Next time when you walk into the mobile wing, ask my team mates what our goals are and how they measured. This will be my KPI on success.