Hello - I'm almost one year into my first management position in a new organization. When I started, I was very familiar with some of the folks and not so much with other members. I'm contemplating different ways to kick off this year as we set business objectives to reinforce basic concepts of ownership and accountability (among others).

Probably as is the case with many teams, I see variability in degrees of ownership. I've been thinking of the benefits of setting expectations in a group setting (i.e. team meeting) versus one-on-one to the folks I feel need to hear this message more.

I'm leaning towards a more generic message in a team meeting that shows we are defining success, in part, in terms of accountability and ownership in all our activities. I would then provide feedback as necessary in O3s.

I was wondering if anyone out there has some suggestions as far as what they've tried and what's worked. Specifically I'm interested in how to deliver this in a team setting without turning off those who may already be demonstrating the correct attributes.


Dani Martin's picture
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Have you listened to the 'casts on Skip Levels? I am about 4 months into my new position and got a lot of advice at first about having the type of meeting you're describing. Instead I focused on getting to know my staff during our O3's and then held my first Skip Levels last month. I followed the agenda outlined by M&M in the 'cast and it went very well. I had prepared my "core message/stump speech" which included my 3 priorities/areas of focus. I also shared that my expectations are that every member of the team will do their best -- not perfection, but their best. The responses were very positive.

When I first met with my leadership team (directors and managers), I was also tempted to launch into the "this is what I expect from you" speech. I fought the temptation and instead turned the discussion around and asked [b]them[/b] to define and determine how we as a team would define success and our expectations of each other. Needless to say, they exceeded my expectations!

Good luck!

juliahhavener's picture
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I don't think I've listened to that cast yet (one of the few I haven't). I'll have to do that this weekend as I'll be taking over my new team next week.


mgfink's picture

Thanks for the tips. I haven't yet listened to the skip level casts and will give them a listen for some additional insight.

Mark's picture
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I'm sorry this has taken me so long. I regret my absence.

Dani's right. (Lucky me). And, I would ask you to think about what you mean about "ownership". I would suggest that that's an attitude, not a behavior, but you WILL... YOU WILL ... judge folks by their behavior.

So, some of those whom you see as not owning things will have to overcome your paradigm of them, and it will be harder than necessary. Focus on what you expect of the team, and talk to each individual about what you expect of them.

I am VERY wary of shotguns when I KNOW there will be good folks getting part of the blast. If it's not negative, then okay... you can have individual conversations and reinforce what that message meant for them.

Again, my apologies.


mgfink's picture

Mark - thanks for the feedback. Just to update, I ended up having a department meeting and discussed (in more general terms) criteria that go into performance evaluations at the end of the year. I also indicated that [i]how[/i] results are accomplished are just as important as the results themselves. To that end, I also covered the elements of [i]how[/i].

As has been suggested I will work with those who need the coaching one-on-one as the year progresses.

Thanks again!

Mark's picture
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Sounds good!

Can you tell me what you mean by how? Give me an example, maybe?


mgfink's picture

Mark - we have specific criteria we look at as we assess each DR. For example: leadership, teaming, quality, and sensitivity to cost. These things are the [i]how[/i] considered when taking into account the overall contributions of the DR.

So, if someone delivers sound technical solutions consistently but does so without regard to cost, we would focus on that behavior in a coaching session.