What are the expectations of being a leader at PERQ?
Sure, it’s a question I could answer. One that was always being discussed in a roundabout way through one off discussions, one-on-ones, or during our weekly Wednesday manager meetings. The content was always similar and coming from the same place, but used more anecdotally rather than specific and consistent.
Some were cultural things, most were tactical, and some were those really weird scenarios that were likely to never happen again… but, they all provided learning lessons to help our growing leaders improve while trying to maintain consistency across departments.
However, something was missing. All of these lessons and decisions would be discussed and then we would move on. Nothing documented. Nothing from which to go back to when another challenging leadership decision popped up.
We weren’t able to leverage our experiences from growing the business. And worst of all, there was nothing that I could point to that easily described what it meant to be a leader at PERQ for the new managers or for the experienced ones who needed to be reminded of what is expected to lead at PERQ.
While our management team was reading High Output Management together, it struck me that I wasn’t using my leverage correctly or efficiently when it came to providing the expectations for leading at PERQ. In other words, all of the problems were my fault (Booooo!). So, I got to work.
It was a fun exercise and one that really wasn’t that hard to write. These were things that Scott Hill, PERQ co-founder and executive chairman, and I have practiced and believed in from the start, as well as things our team has learned along the way.
After a couple revisions with Scott, I sat down with the management team and we went through it together.
This took place over a few meetings at the end of our weekly meeting. We took our time until we were all aligned and bought into the the essence of the document. Some discussions we had never had before. Have you ever openly discussed with your entire management team how to let somebody go? Great and meaningful discussions that showed me what we were doing well, and others where I needed to be more effective in coaching.
Moving forward, this document will be ‘taught’ at leadership development classes, whenever we hire in a new manager, or when an existing manager strays from the expectation. The first two will always be done by me. Something that will definitely help me learn while setting the expectations and reasons behind them for the future leaders to come.
A few key takeaways for those looking to do something similar:
- Think about big moments where you and another manager or the whole team had to solve a problem. What did you learn? What was the core logic in the decision?
- Write down those sayings your team has heard from you. Most leaders love sayings and analogies, and we generally have a few ‘go-to’s.’ Write them down. They are crucial. Your team already knows them, and there is more meaning than just the words. Example for us – Power is taken, not given. Our team knows what this means.
- Get your team involved. Ask them what makes a good manager while you’re prepping? How is it different for our culture and how would you describe that difference? They’ll have great stuff to add here.
- Be specific. Each company’s culture is unique and built around core values that mean something. This is your time to call those out specifically focused around leadership and management.
- Have fun and make it your own!