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Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 46

My Go To Operational & Organisational Tips 

26th April 2021,

Dear leaders, I trust you had a good week and ready for the week ahead.

Some of the most popular leaders letters are me sharing my way of work and the frameworks I use.

So here is a select series of my operational ways of work:

Split out your browsers, inboxes and messages 

  • One for work 
  • Home for another. 

Helps you prioritise, maintain and apply prioritisation. 

Take and keep notes but have a system  

  • I am a huge note taker and keeping a record, especially of micro-moments, select one way of taking notes, often in person pen and pad works best, type up (or scan and copy text), 
  • Categorise and link to other notes. Think of the 1:2:1’s, the department notes you have to keep and actions you have given and the ideas you have on an ongoing basis.
    These are all-important to take notes, check in on progress and revisit. 
  • Revisit the Decision documents, company typically only work when ‘centralised knowledge’ is kept, updated and shared. 

No pointless or boring meeting rules

  • Meetings always have an owner – clearly called out and run by said owner
  • No attendees leave a well organised intentional meeting – be intentional and explain why they should attend and what their role is in this meeting and moving forward
  • Always have a no leaving rule (no leaving early or no leaving because you were invited to a bad or unorganised) – roll this out company-wide so it sticks 
  • Meeting feedback is a gift – offer an open document for feedback. Many businesses can operate with silent start meetings, meaning they have centralised documents and share their thoughts and feedback and then discuss with one chair who updates and then the notes are reviewed and discussed.

Statuses Work

  • Have work statuses. The ones that typically work for my clients:  
    • Available
    • Away
    • In a meeting
    • At lunch
    • Deep work aka Do not disturb 
  • Ensure everyone understands what to use and when. This is not checking up on colleagues, this is to help understand how to support colleagues time and energy
  • Even if the most senior management team members or the HiPPO contacts you, follow the statuses to manage expectations. 

Clear Internal Comms 

  • IM channels for quick updates not long threads
  • Stories style video updates work, even think about replacing in-person standup (Work in progress meetings definitely can be replaced and shortened)
  • Documents for more in-depth deliberate conversations 
  • One dedicated project management tool (Notion, Monday or confluence all work well)
  • Email for external comms and important internal updates 

Good luck rolling these out, happily get in touch if you have any questions around these points.

Thanks and have a good week,

Danny Denhard


Other Great Leaders Letters:

One problem two solutions framework

Risk vs benefit framework

Three questions to build better relationships

Fewer managers, more coaches and mentors

Commitment: Communicate clearly

Categories
Leadership

Planning The Post Pandemic Reopening

As large companies in the US slowly reopen their offices, I wanted to write a quick tip to win as a leader of a company or a department.

As a leader, you need to know when to let people work and let people play.

Once your offices open up (between 10% and 30%) and you look to organise the safe first on-site or offsite.

Please think before you act, think before action is essential here.

First Comes Mentor Time

At the off-site (on-site), allow people to play first, then see the work bubble to the surface and then keep bubbling.

You’ll be surprised by the impact and reconnection that comes and then the will and desire to win together.

People First Approach

Many colleagues have lost their connections.
Many colleagues have got used to the transactional nature of video calls.
This may not need a hard reboot, but multiplayer and team-first connections need to be re-established semi organically.

It is worth keeping in mind, some of the strongest bonds would have been lost or broken in the pandemic, it is for those who lost this to build the actual bridge, you have to be willing to understand the subcultures and environment and repoint the company compass.

It is important to understand and guide your teams that despite the nostalgia for pre pandemic times, we will be operating in a hybrid office environment and this does mean that we have to be deliberate, intentional with everything, have more focus on those around us. No in office team vs digitally remote team hierarchy.

The buzz of an on-site or offsite needs to carried through to work, this will come from connected ideation, a long term project within a flexible framework and come from continued interaction. You will need to plant the seeds, water them and then let them flower and blossom.

People + Tech

A blend between voice, story format video with overlays and instructions, documentation and of course video meetings will help continue the connections and enable working relationships to rebuild and grow.

Then Coach Time

  • Bring forward the focus,
  • Your connective vision,
  • Co-build the plan,
  • Let your co-pilot and captain step up and lead.
  • Allow the team breathe, provide space and trust,
  • Then allow a couple of passion projects alongside an important long term project.

This is by all means not a guaranteed formula for success, however, this is a framework to help you rebuild your team’s connections and provided an ability to lead out of this global crisis.

Remember, “Leaders lead” so your behaviours and cues are key to winning.


Important Related Reads:

Get a free copy of the Hybrid Office Ebook

Read the future of the office, the office as an arena

Why the culture community manager is your most important hire of 2021 nad beyond.


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Categories
Friday Focus

Focus Friday – 19th February

The High Performance Podcast is one of my must listen to podcasts every week.

The vodcast and podcast interviews successful business and sports people around high performance and what makes high performance to them.

I personally have taken a lot from the sporting episodes as there are so many similarities between sports and business world, particularly with the continued corporate pressures on performance and how it now influences players, coaching and sponsorship within sports.

Here are the best High Performance Podcasts you will want to listen to:

Business

Sir Clive Woodward
Why Listen? Rugby and business and the demand of making individual great

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

For the Sir Clive Woodward high performance podcast listen here

Baroness Michelle Mone
Why listen? For unfiltered personal experiences, on the ups and downs of business and influence of personal appearance

Sports

Eddie Jones
Why Listen? Eddie Jones talks about his successes, failures and knowing what you need to do to as a great coach, motivate individuals and provide a trust based environment.

Rio Ferdinand
Why Listen? On the demands on being the best and sustaining high performance

Steven Gerrard
Why Listen? Talks openly about his slip, the impact it has had, Steven’s approach to being a young coach and the importance of bringing those more experienced around you

Sir Chris Hoy
Why Listen? On having the right mindset in sports, business and creating the right set of guiding values

Dame Kelly Holmes
Why Listen? The impact of being the best of the best and talks openly about self-harm

Happily let me know which podcast is your favourite by