How to Lead: Insights from 200+ Creative Companies (99U)

How to Lead: Insights from 200+ Creative Companies (99U)

Claire Lew spends her working life embedding herself and her software product (Know Your Company - http://knowyourcompany.com) into some of the world’s most prolific companies to help their leaders become better. As a result, she’s noticed trends and patterns that trip up even the most seasoned managers and founders. In this talk, Claire shares common leadership pitfalls, and how to avoid them – especially the often sneaky, undiscovered ones.

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This talk was given on May 6, 2016 at 99U: http://conference.99u.com/

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Claire Lew

May 06, 2016
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Transcript

  1. HOW LEAD Insights from 200+ Creative Companies to Claire Lew

    @cjlew23
  2. Hi, I’m Claire Lew.

  3. @cjlew23

  4. None
  5. What’s the hardest part about being a leader?

  6. As CEO, you’re somehow both the total insider and the

    total outsider at the same time. In some ways you’re at the center of the organization. In other contexts, you’re like the last person to know anything. “ ” -PETER THIEL, C
  7. As CEO, you’re somehow both the total insider and the

    total outsider at the same time. In some ways you’re at the center of the organization. In other contexts, you’re like the last person to know anything. “ ” -PETER THIEL, C
  8. The hardest part about being a leader is being the

    last to know.
  9. Think back…

  10. Someone’s thinking about leaving

  11. Someone’s thinking about leaving …you’re the last to know.

  12. An employee is underperforming

  13. An employee is underperforming …you’re the last to know.

  14. A project is running behind

  15. A project is running behind …you’re the last to know.

  16. What you don’t know in your company is what hurts

    your company the most.
  17. What you don’t know in your company is what hurts

    your company the most.
  18. The most important thing you can do as a leader

    is uncover the things you don’t know.
  19. The most important thing you can do as a leader

    is uncover the things you don’t know.
  20. TODAY

  21. Our biggest blindspots as leaders TODAY

  22. Our biggest blindspots as leaders Why these blindspots occur TODAY

  23. Our biggest blindspots as leaders Why these blindspots occur How

    to uncover them TODAY
  24. None
  25. I felt this pain firsthand.

  26. None
  27. “How’s it going?”

  28. “Fine.” “How’s it going?”

  29. *Not* fine.

  30. All. The. Time.

  31. None
  32. What are our biggest blindspots as leaders?

  33. Your employees feel stifled. BLINDSPOT #1

  34. Yes, there’s an area outside my current role where I

    feel I could be contributing. 75% (688 employees responded across 107 different companies through Know Your Company.) “ ”
  35. Yes, something is holding me back from me doing my

    best work right now. 59% (875 employees responded across 116 different companies through Know Your Company.) “ ”
  36. Stifled employees Turnover

  37. What can you do about it?

  38. Offer meaningful work, not just $$$. DO THIS

  39. Find a way to help your employees develop deep skills.

    DO THIS
  40. Ask your employees: “Is there anyone in the company you’d

    like to apprentice under?” DO THIS
  41. Pitch in yourself. DO THIS

  42. Your employees think your company is behind the curve. BLINDSPOT

    #2
  43. Yes, I think we’re behind the curve on something in

    particular. 66% (1,072 employees responded across 147 different companies through Know Your Company.) “ ”
  44. Yes, I’ve seen something recently and thought to myself, I

    wish we’d done that. 76% (1,119 employees responded across 165 different companies through Know Your Company.) “ ”
  45. Yes, I’ve seen something a competitor has done recently that’s

    really impressed me. 65% (564 employees responded across 104 different companies through Know Your Company.) “ ”
  46. You’re sitting on a wealth of good ideas.

  47. What can you do about it?

  48. Don’t kill an idea too quickly. DO THIS

  49. Ask yourself: “What are the ideas I’ve been hearing right

    under my nose that I should be listening to?” DO THIS
  50. Spend 15 min. writing down questions that challenge the status

    quo. DO THIS
  51. Ask your employees: “Is there anything in particular you think

    we’re behind the curve on?” DO THIS
  52. Your employees want more feedback… but not more performance reviews.

    BLINDSPOT #3
  53. Yes, I want more feedback about my performance. 80% (1,468

    employees responded across 138 different companies through Know Your Company.) “ ”
  54. Yes, we do performance reviews frequently enough. 63% (650 employees

    responded across 73 different companies through Know Your Company.) “ ”
  55. What people actually think about performance reviews Regular, helpful feedback

    Higher engagement
  56. What can you do about it?

  57. Communicate consistently. DO THIS

  58. Return calls / messages within 24 hours. DO THIS

  59. Communicate richly. DO THIS

  60. One-on-ones Social opportunities Company pulse surveys All-company get togethers DO

    THIS
  61. Practice Habit Culture

  62. None
  63. Why do these blindspots occur?

  64. Fear

  65. Yes, I’m afraid of something at work. 68% (663 employees

    responded across 72 different companies through Know Your Company.) “ ”
  66. Futility

  67. 1.8X Futility is more powerful than fear as an obstacle

    to feedback. (2010 Harvard Business Review article)
  68. How can we overcome fear + futility?

  69. How do we uncover these blindspots?

  70. 1 2 3

  71. 2 3 1 Go first.

  72. “I could use your advice…”

  73. “I’m struggling with…”

  74. 2 3 1 Go first.

  75. 1 3 2 Ask specific questions.

  76. “What’s one thing…”

  77. “In the past two weeks…”

  78. “How’s it going? Anything we can improve on?” “I’ve been

    wrestling with some big- picture stuff about how the company could get better, and would love your help with it. What’s one thing in the past week we could’ve done better?” “Hmm, well the other day, I had to sit down with our new hires to remind them what our focus was. So maybe we’re not as clear about our vision as a company as we should be. I’m just concerned that they’re not spending the best use of their time, and we’re more inefficient than we should be.” “Things are pretty good. Nothing I can think of really.”
  79. 1 3 2 Ask specific questions.

  80. 1 2 3 3 Do something.

  81. “I really appreciate you sharing that…”

  82. “Here’s why we’re *not* doing this…”

  83. “Because of that, we’re going to do this…”

  84. 4 moments. 1 2 3

  85. 2 3 1 Go first.

  86. 1 3 2 Ask specific questions.

  87. 1 2 3 3 Do something.

  88. None
  89. Your turn

  90. When’s the last time you wanted to know how an

    employee really felt? YOUR TURN
  91. YOUR TURN Go first? Ask specific questions? Do something? 1

    2 3
  92. When’s the last time you wanted to know how an

    employee really felt? YOUR TURN
  93. Now, let’s come together :-)

  94. A few last tips…

  95. Ask for permission.

  96. Ask yourself: “What does it feel like to work for

    me?”
  97. This is hard.

  98. “Some things are better left unsaid.”

  99. “Some things are better left unsaid.”

  100. Your blindspots still exist, whether or not you choose to

    address them.
  101. Your blindspots still exist, whether or not you choose to

    address them.
  102. “I’ve got a lot of other stuff to do.”

  103. People first.

  104. Your company’s culture starts with you.

  105. One last thing…

  106. Talk is nice, but action is better.

  107. 2 3 1 Go first.

  108. 1 3 2 Ask specific questions.

  109. 1 2 3 3 Do something.

  110. How can I be more helpful to you? claire@knowyourcompany.com

  111. HOW LEAD Insights from 200+ Creative Companies to

  112. Thank you, 99u! @cjlew23