How to defeat the humiliation of ignorance – with trust

Reading Time: 6 minutes This week I had an enlightening conversation with one of my team members. A brilliant engineer, we talked about how difficult it can be in a work environment (in any environment, really) to be honest about the things you don’t know. Admitting you don’t know something can open you up to ridicule, condescension, humiliation or […]

Learning to speak the language of the people you lead

Reading Time: 3 minutes Earlier this week I had a meeting with a friend struggling with one of her co-workers. Because I also have had some experience with the person she was having difficulty with, she thought I’d be a good person to chat with. For several minutes she outlined the difficulties she was having – and they were […]

Why one-on-ones?

Cover image for six one-on-one questions you shouldn't ask

Reading Time: 4 minutes Every once in a while, as I explain what I do with Uptick, I am asked, “Don’t we have enough meetings already? Why should we have one-on-ones?” Great question! As a general rule I am not a big fan of more meetings either. But one-on-ones are different, and to answer the question, I have to […]

Teachability – constructive feedback makes me a better leader

Reading Time: 2 minutes If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction, you will be honored. Proverbs 13:18 A few years ago one of the guys I was leading asked what I looked for when I was hiring a new leader. I thought for a few minutes. I mean, there were a […]

One-on-ones: Giving, not getting, is the key to your team’s success

Reading Time: 7 minutes I read a LOT of blogs and professional articles directed to managers, and many have a consistent theme – “How to get the most from your team members”. I understand the sentiment, but I don’t like the way the words sound. To “get” something from your team members implies you have to extract it. Or […]

5 questions to answer when creating meaningful goals

Reading Time: 7 minutes Is there anything worse than the boring “same old same old”? Every day bleeds into the next and work feels like a swamp of tasks with no measurable goals or outcomes. Can you feel it? Yuck. No finish line. No measurables. No feeling of “winning”. Many of us have experienced this, along with the loss […]

Authority is Earned, Not Bestowed

Reading Time: 6 minutes “You just need to trust me. I’m your boss!” Um….ok. I was a brand new team member with a boss who had never led anyone before. I don’t remember exactly what precipitated the statement above. Perhaps I had exasperated him. Nevertheless, claiming his authority over me simply because of his position was definitely the wrong […]

3 Ways to Encourage Your Team to Take Risks

Reading Time: 6 minutes “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky, NHL Hall of Famer There are plenty of reasons to play it safe. Families of origin where failure was punished. Toxic perfectionistic bosses. Fear of letting others down. And on we go. No one wants to fail, but most of us agree (at […]

Managing Change in the Workplace – How To and How Not To!

Cover image for the 8 do's and don'ts for your next one-on-one meeting blog post

Reading Time: 5 minutes 42 years is a long time to not experience much change in the workplace. The organization I was leading had been using the same basic recipe for success since the 60’s. It had been phenomenally fruitful, and the trajectory of the organization always seemed to be going in the right direction. Until… The world changed. […]

How to Cultivate Transparency in a Zoom World

Cover image for how to get more out of one-on-one meetings with your manager blog post

Reading Time: 3 minutes Now that most of us have experienced some version of remote work I’ve started to evaluate how I develop and maintain transparent relationships with my team. Video conferencing has become the centerpiece of communication for many of us. I mean, last week I had a few days where I had 10 or more Zoom meetings. […]