Do I start O3 now that his reports report to me?

I have a manager (DR) that will be out for 4 - 6 weeks and his DRs now report to me. He will be retiring three months after he comes back. We haven't decided if he is going to be replaced due to financial concerns and there are other options on the table too.

I feel if they report to me they get an O3 but I don't want to start something that could be negated when he comes back.

I have two other managers that I will be doing O3's with next week and there are 7 DR in this group for a total of 9 O3 in a week.

Thank you,


MattJBeckwith's picture
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Hi Kevin. I've been in the same situation as that with a DR manager that went out for a short period and her DR managers reported to me. I did one-on-ones because they actually reported to me during their manager's absence. The worst thing is for someone to stop getting one-on-ones just because their manager is out of the office.

As for being negated when he returns - does that mean he isn't doing one-on-ones? If not, sounds like doing them yourself is great but only during his absence and then he should be coached to start them when he returns.

US41's picture

Your boss is out and you are in charge? This is a great chance for you to show what you are made of. O3's will help you build your relationships with the rest of the team. O3's will help you know what is going on in your team. I think implementing them immediately would be a bold move, and it would probably turn out very well for you.

When he returns, you can debrief him on the O3's you implemented. Show him the letter you sent out, give him the calendar schedule of when you were holding them, and turn over copies of all of the notes you took and anything else you filed on your folks performance during that time (kudos emails, letters from customers, complaints, whatever).

In the end, you will have stronger relationships with your team when you become their peer again, and you may be selected to replace him when he retires. Maybe not, but it is worth doing at any rate.

[b]> > > > Do not coach your boss or give him feedback. < < < < [/b]

That will go badly for you. Simply report to him what you implemented and how it went, turn over the intro letter, the schedule, the forms, and copies of your files. Explain what you learned and how it went. Explain the benefits and the lack of cost involved. As a dutiful employee reporting in to the boss on his attempts to do right by him.

Let your boss make of it what he will and let it go.

MattJBeckwith's picture
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Sorry, Kevin, I may have misunderstood your question. Is the manager that is out [i]your[/i] manager or [i]your[/i] DR?

I read your post to mean it was your DR, thus my response. If you meant that he is your manager then ignore my reply and focus on US41's great suggestions.


US41's picture

I didn't quite catch that the manager might report to you rather than be your boss. DaveTehre, thanks for putting a spotlight on that. You read more carefully than I did.

If he reports to you, then my recommendation would be to give him feedback. "When you are out of the office, and you dump all of your reports on me instead of grooming a successor whom you can appoint to take over your team for you while you are out, my job becomes more difficult. What can you do differently?"

Especially if his retirement is looming... Where is the succession plan? If one of my managers who reports to me takes time off, they had better have a peer or a direct under them take over their role while they are out. I expect to have the plan for how that is going to work on my desk before they leave.

Delegation does not go upward, and I don't allow my directs to punt responsibilities up to my desk. Out of office notices better not ever have my name in them, and I never leave my boss's name in mine. I leave my directs in charge while I am out and explain how it will work to my boss before I go.

I think it is awesome to see them grow even over just a week while they receive the full experience of my boss's range of behaviors. It helps them gain perspective on my needs of them when I return, and it covers the company's rear in case I am suddenly unable to work, dead, or fired and a contingency plan must be executed.

I have two people who work under me that I am currently grooming to fill my role, and I invest heavily in giving them experience, guidance, coaching, and feedback, because if I am promoted again (all indicators suggest this could happen in the next two or three years), then I will need people who are more robust to support me at the next level and replace me seamlessly (and hopefully as an upgrade) in my old job.

KS180's picture

For some reason I'm not getting notices of replies.

Anyhow, the manager reports to me and he has not done O3's. Naturally, he has not groomed anyone for his replacement which may be a moot issue since we have a hiring freeze. At which point his DR will either report to me or the team gets divided betwen my remaining two managers.

I was concerned about starting O3's then when he comes back they stop because he doesn't do them. He has been off sick since before I started so I haven't had a chance to coach him.

When he comes back around the end of March or the beginning of April he will be working on catching up. Then he needs to document everything before he retires at the end of June.

I think the best thing to do is to start the O3's and then where ever they go the manager will have to continue the O3's.

What do you think?

tcomeau's picture
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I do O3's because they are helpful to [u]me[/u]. I'm really glad that they seem to be useful to my staff, and that I'm able to help them be more effective in their work, but I would do them even if they were a pure loss of 30 minutes a week for my guys. By meeting with my guys (nearly) every week, I know what they're working on, how they're doing, whether they need help or can offer help, what they need next, etc.

It's a lot more of my time than it is of theirs, and when they move on to the next thing, it's usually not to a manager who does O3s.

So, I would do them even with people who were only going to be with me for a while.