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How to maximize remote performance

A number of leaders are struggling to figure out if their employees are performing. Here’s what I recently heard from a frustrated manager:

“I’ve no idea when my employee logs in and out. I don’t know know what to do.”

This is a typical case of misattribution. Instead of optimizing for visibility, we need to optimize for performance.

Gone are the days when we’d look at the door and silently judge when our employees walked in late or took off for a long lunch.

ICYMI – Google and Facebook are not bringing their workforce back this year, and Twitter’s going to let some employees work from home indefinitely.

Here’s the CEO of Box talking about the same trend:

In the new world, leaders will need to optimize for more sophisticated metrics such as trustconnection, and quality of output versus vanity metrics like “time clocked in“. I think this is a welcome change.

Leaders and founders will have to double-down:

  1. Clarity of messaging (Hi-fidelity)
  2. More storytelling and innovative ways of sharing it (visual and bite-sized). Some CEO[s] are opting for video messages versus company-wide email announcements.
  3. More goal-setting and measurement. (This needs to happen across all levels)
  4. Leaders will have to establish boundaries for themselves and lead by example for the rest of the group to follow.
  5. More humanity and empathy (one can only hope).


Change is coming and it’s coming fast. I see some bumps, but I’m optimistic.

Hope you’re well


Telescopes and Microscopes

As a leader, realize that your vantage point is different than your direct reports. You have a telescope (vision) and your employees have a microscope (details), hence they see and hear things you’re unable to and vice-versa. For you to lead a successful team, you can’t rely exclusively on the information that you possess.

For optimal decision making, you have to listen to what’s being surfaced from your team and find a way to marry your information with theirs. This allows for a richer outcome and, in all honesty, a better world. You have the ability to look far and wide, your team has the ability to zoom in.

The service is good enough

On my flight home somewhere over the Atlantic, one of the passengers commented “The service is good enough” and that triggered the following response and my dislike for the words “Good Enough”.

  1. Good enough is not good enough anymore
  2. Good enough is a sign of complacency
  3. Good enough is taking shortcuts vs putting in the reps
  4. Good enough is not courageous
  5. Good enough is mediocre
  6. Good enough is the enemy of great
  7. “Good enough will never change the world” – Usain Bolt

60 second reflection:

What one area do you want to stop settling for “good enough” and challenge yourself or your team to reach higher?

Emotional Courage: 3 Reasons & 3 Questions

How many of us have had a dialogue playing on repeat inside our heads, but we can’t seem to muster the courage to take the next step and share our thoughts with the intended person? Go ahead take 10 seconds to think about it: The first conversation that comes to your mind is the one I’m talking about.

Difficult conversations tend to be nerve-wracking and anxiety-inducing, because they involve providing constructive feedback…however they’re the ones we often want (and need) to have to make us and our direct reports more successful. (more…)

The One Main Ingredient in Your Manager Diet

Feedback – How appropriate that the word begins with feed. Study after study indicates that employees are hungry for feedback. Conversely, a low feedback diet comes with many side effects including: Disengagement, Loss of opportunities, and the ultimate price “loss of talent”.

Framing your feedback is critical, specially if its constructive in nature. Consider following these guidelines to help get you comfortable. (more…)


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