Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 63 – 40 Tips To Improve Work For Everyone

Leaders Letter 63 

Dear leaders, 

This week I am going to be offering up 40 tips to improve your working environment and a number of these tips can be rolled out easily within minutes. 

A number of these tips are connecting to bigger ideas and frameworks, so do click through to find out more information. 

The 40 Tips 

  1. Create leadership principles you hold yourself and teams can hold you (and the leadership) accountable to 
  2. Actively review each others management styles, peer to peer reviews are often the best way for you to develop outside of feedback from your teams. Open and transparent feedback helps to develop yourselves collectively and removes the cult of confusion, chaos, fear
  3. Stop over-communicating, be deliberate in communication, more comms = more confusion. Deliberate, designed internal (and external) comms is the most effective 
  4. Remove soft skills ignorance by creating a trusted environment to discuss business performance alongside personal performance 
  5. Understand how the drama triangle is likely impacting your business and being overly empathetic. Understand which role (rescuer (let me help you), persecutor (it’s your fault), victim (poor me) you play in the triangle and how this might be impacting you and your departments development. 
  6. If your team is struggling in problem-solving, offer up one problem two solutions framework, will help frame issues and present in an easy to understand format for everyone in your business and for people to show they can make vital decisions. 
  7. Are you a department lead who needs to step back or has someone in the team who would make the better pilot, consider whether it is time for a co-pilot 
  8. Struggling as a management or leadership team, it is likely time to rethink your structures and introduce management pods to support each other in small groups to build trust and synergy between teams and departments 
  9. Have people or teams at each other’s throats and they cannot move forward, follow ‘the focus power half hours framework’, bring together the third party to collate and ask the difficult questions to clarify topics and align the team or manager and team member
  10. Need a better pros and cons framework? Use the risks vs benefits framework to reformat and restructure your thoughts into benefits to you, risks to you.  
  11. Many teams have professional injuries that require rehab, help team members and company colleagues to speak about and seek out professional rehab
    Meeting Tips
  12. Always have meeting agendas that guide time and energy 
  13. Always say why this should not be an email 
  14. Change up the agenda, recycled agendas = less focus 
  15. Meeting recovery syndrome is real, reduce any friction by having strict start times and end times, give people time back 
  16. Rotate ownership of meetings – captains of meetings is a great way to increase confidence and sharing of responsibilities 
  17. Always have quick-fire check-ins before meetings and check out of meetings 
  18. Take notes and use the focus framework of decisions, actions, notes 
  19. Feedback on meetings should have an agreed timescale 
  20. Create 30-45 minute fortnightly departmental meetings with rapid-fire problem solving and joint wins 
  21. Be clear on the difference between strategy, tactics and plans of action 
  22. Agree on language and semantics  – build a glossary to ensure everyone speaks the same language 
  23. Create Friday morning internal training, departmental wide training around disciplines, build-out generalists, build-out specialists 
  24. Be deliberate in understanding motives, political intelligence does not have to be a core factor but likely is (PQ is the third intelligence we have)
  25. Make skip meetings actionable, leaders its time review your manager’s reviews not just speak to their team members  
  26. Introduce reverse mentorship – the CEO can learn as much if not more from the customer service rep than they can from the CPO. The B2B product marketer can teach the FD much more about the business than they realise  
  27. When hybrid ensure you make 15 minutes everyday to take coffee breaks with colleagues, your internal social network aka the workgraph is vital 
  28. While hiring may be limited for your business, training doesn’t have to be, consider interview practice runs and interview training 
  29. Improve your virtual hiring and hybrid hiring approach with these simple but effective tips, hint always remember headphones 
  30.  If you are coaching, follow Steve Jobs and Tim Cook’s coach advice: don’t be a fixer and don’t be the hero, here are ten other tips from legendary coach Bill Campbell
  31. Are you a rebuilder? Are you rebuilding a team after a poor last manager or someone who might have had a negative influence? Find out why it is such a unique and specialist role
  32. Are you the catalyst? The person in a team or a department seems to be the colleague who kickstarts projects. Find out why they are so important and if you are the catalyst understand your role is vitally important to every business 
  33. Do you know the importance of the internal influencer? Find them, get behind them, develop them and use their influence positively together, do not use them 
  34. Are people zoning out of your business or have they lost contact? Why “the unfollow” is happening is not quite unique to 2020 and 2021 but is important to note it is not always bad or an issue within businesses. Understand if you need to start selling differently or if your business needs to connect more or request less  
  35. Roll out the communication cheatsheet:
    Short powerful messages + repetition + simple analogies (+ repetition)  = internal communication wins 
  36. Be deliberate with everything you do, reduce poor reflexes and lack of delivery by being intentional.  The better the training, the better the muscle memory will become, the better the communication and meetings become 
  37. Asynchronous communication is more than a buzzword, it is being deliberate with documenting important information and being able to create open and transparent written communication  
  38. To win hybrid meetings, build out your own gestures, for when to talk, to when to vote to when to add valuable insights and feedback 
  39. Celebrate when teams work together and thrive in multiplayer hybrid environments  
  40. Have chat rules when working remotely, use DND and turn off notifications in and around meetings, especially when presenting.  

Have a great week and if you have any tips you’d like to share, happily get in contact below


Danny Denhard