Here’s what you say to anyone you’re onboarding, or to your existing direct reports:
It’s not about you and it’s not about me: it’s about our mission
When we get together, we’re going to be focusing on how you’re accomplishing the job. We’ll both leave our egos at the door and concentrate on accomplishing the mission. It’s not about who’s right, but what’s right.
I expect growth.
Growth is a given. In you personally, and in your role or area. I expect to see results. That’s why you’re here, so let’s get that expectation out in the open now.
We’re going to be talking about both the good and the bad.
When things go well, we’re going to celebrate. When they go off track, we’re going to have immediate conversations about how to fix things. We’ll never avoid the hard conversations, because they’re for your good and the good of the organization.
These rules seem pretty obvious. But, most of us ignore the third rule, because we’re strict believers in the eleventh commandment. And the XI Commandment is:
THOU SHALT BE NICE.
Except that not telling the truth isn’t nice. More often its cruel, because the person doesn’t know there’s anything wrong, and you’re not helping them get better.
Incidentally, most of the time people who are underperforming don’t know that they are. They think they’re doing fine. It’s up to you to tell them the truth, not to be mean, but to be kind. Help them be their best.
So, please make yourself a promise that you’re going to break the 11th Commandment, and be honest with those around you.
Getting ahead is about getting started,