#ManagementStyle – Top 10

“What’s your management style?” Leadership style? Here’s my Top 10:

Be Respectful
There is never any reason to not be respectful. Nobody deserves to be humiliated, embarrassed, insulted, etc… However, this doesn’t mean I don’t have tough conversations and provide real-time feedback of job performance.

Real-time Feedback
My goal is that when I write a performance review or 360 feedback, there are no surprises. You’re doing a disservice to your team, company and yourself if coworkers don’t know where they stand with you. I strive to provide real-time feedback – in the moment. Sometimes if its a tense moment, I might wait a couple of days.  There are lots of great ways to give real-time feedback while still adhering to the previous point. You might ask a question after the meeting “Did that go as you expected?” Start a brainstorm, about how a different approach might have yielded a better outcome.  I like to focus on aligning expectations. I might say “my expectation on this project was X, what was yours?”

Vision and Goals
How do I stay aligned and clear on what we are accomplishing? I’m a fan of creating a vision, organizational objectives and documenting SMART goals and objectives (G&O’s). I facilitate the process, but ultimately its the team members who come up with the content. We usually document our goals on 6-month time horizons and review as a team twice per quarter. Why do we do this?

  • Let others know what we are working on. G&O’s should be shared cross-functionally and with management. Clear and transparent. 
  • Ensure alignment on priorities among team members, other teams and management. 
  • Resource allocation and needs. My boss or someone else wants us to work on something else – ok – but let’s all recognize that another goal is deprioritized. Or provide more resources. I want my team to hold me to this standard as well; so if I ask for something, they can say, “no problem Sean, but let’s talk about what we are going to stop working on”.  That’s fair.  
  • The most important point perhaps: We don’t leave a G&O setting session without consensus. Meaning, all team members need to buy-in. Or maybe we agree its a ‘stretch’ goal. 
Manage Me 
I prefer to be managed. Meaning I don’t want to be micro-managing or reviewing what you do, day in or day out. Include me in meetings and have me review things as needed – a risk-adjusted approach.

Deep Dive
At the risk of completely contradicting the previous point, expect me to deep dive into a lot of areas at least one time. Once I’m confident the process is sound, I probably won’t be back for awhile or ever.

Ideally every one of my team members has a deep desire to be challenged, develop and grow. I want to hire people that can replace me, and I hope that continues on down the line. I want you to work outside your comfort zone, take risks, make mistakes (course correct fast), be intellectually curious, be a thought leader and audaciously present your ideas in front of audiences.  

Remain Calm in Stressful Situations
I’ll admit, I struggle with this one sometimes, but I’ve been consciously working on it for years. I thrive in crisis situations, but some people do not, and you need to recognize and accept different styles. As a leader, people will look to you as an example and your emotional response sets a tone.

Be Clear and Concise
My profession is documentation intensive. Memos, processes, presentations, etc… I live by the clean cut “Google home-screen” approach to writing and presenting analysis. Only include what is absolutely necessary, and nothing more. I work in finance and we have to perform what are called “account reconciliations”, which basically support the #’s underlying our financial statements. I have a rule: if the CEO can’t pick up the summary page, and within 1 minute  understand the nature of the account and reasonableness of balance, then it needs reworking.

Have a Point, Move Fast and be Efficient
If you schedule a meeting, have a point, a goal and a desired outcome. You looking to share information? – then probably should send an email, likely not a meeting. You need a decision, then schedule a meeting and drive the group to a decision. If you’re going to take up others’ time by way of a meeting, then be considerate and appreciative of their time: send out an agenda, pre-read materials and follow-up the meeting by sending a summary of decisions made and action items.

Manage Your Own Time 
If you’re going to be in late, gone in the afternoon or taking Friday off; I probably don’t need to know…and I’m glad you figured out how to get out for a long weekend. Point here is we know what needs to get done (see G&O’s above), so let’s get it done – remember we already agreed on it. So if you are getting it done, manage your calendar and don’t feel like you need to be constrained by the 9to5, 5-days/ week schedule. 
Be Positive and Have Fun     
We’re in this together. We are humans. Let’s have fun and enjoy what we are doing! And if you’re counting, this is #11. So if you’re not hurting anyone, not breaking any laws/regulations and it makes sense, go ahead and change the rules.  

Grass Fed Beef – Its Whats for Dinner

I finally got around to buying grass fed beef in bulk and can’t wait to introduce this healthy indulgence to our diets once or twice a week.  It seems like red meat is always popping up on lists of bad things to eat; better order the chicken not the steak. What gives?

The red meat of today that you find in your grocery store comes from cows that have been raised in atrocious conditions and fed grains, corn and loads of antibiotics and hormones to induce fast growth and fatness. The food they’re feeding them itself was grown using GMO’s and pesticides. Pure garbage.

The meat I recently purchased is from Brandon Natural Beef, and the cattle are raised from birth in natural grass fields in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado; grazing on a cacophony of natural mountain grasses that flavor the meat. I’m told that I should experiment and source from different farmers as tasting the different meats is like tasting different wines. This is the meat that our disease and ailment-free ancestors ate. (I know we live longer now, but that’s not because people were dying from cancer and heart disease, they were dying from cholera, dysentery, influenza, malaria, etc… things we have medicine for now).  Grass fed beef contains higher levels of healthy fats like cancer-fighting CLA and inflammation reducing omega-3’s and lower amounts of omega-6 and saturated fats than their grain fed malnourished brothers.

Haven’t cooked it yet, that will be blog 2, but so excited to try it.  The meat you see in this picture was ~$400, and includes the following:

15 – 12 oz. Rib eye
8 – 12 oz. New york strip

4 – 7 oz. Tenderloin Filet
2 – 22 oz. T-Bone
3 – 3 lb briskets
15 lbs ground beef

$400 sounds like a lot. Right? Well it did to me, but let’s break this down in a very simple manner. The 29 steaks that I purchased, would easily average $12 each for the corn, grain, and GMO poisoned beef.  That’s $348 already, and I haven’t even accounted for the briskets and ground beef. I’d say I got a pretty good deal.

So clean out some freezer space, clean ahead and buy in bulk and eat guilt free red meat.

Fun fact: Michael Jordan ate a 23 oz steak before every game…though not sure if it was grass fed.

Here’s a link to a discussion between Ben Greenfield and John Wood the CEO of US Wellness Meats.