After 6 months of making a serious continuous effort to roll out the Trinity (in line with the cast - no sudden starting) I have suffered serious setbacks from directs who openly ridicule the idea of O3s, peers who offer no support and management virtually stopping any delegation.

My directs have never had O3s regularly, other than 6 monthly performance reviews or when they have made a reasonably serious mistake. This is organizational normality...

The directs comply with the my requirement for O3s (due to the boss sign), I have noticed open ridicule within my team of directs and with their peers who are not my directs.

My peers do not see the need for anything above and beyond the organizational normality of 6 monthly performance reviews, so I am lone wolf on this and have curtailed my high C of selling it to my peers.

I have approached my boss on multiple occasions to discuss delegating a task of mine that could be spread across each of my directs for e.g. technical upwards reporting for each of my directs areas, each direct would upwards report their area of responsibility individually, rather than my reporting on all. I have been unsuccessful in delegating even the lowest priority tasks of mine, my boss wants me to keep them all.

Do I stop being the lone wolf on the Trinity and let organizational normality win?


jib88's picture

 Why do you need permission to delegate something? Just do it, and have them give the status report to you so you can review it and pass it along.

O3s and delegation should give you more capable directs and more time to take on new initiatives and drive positive change in the organization. Your peers may find themselves working for you.

One point to watch here is potentially getting taken down by your boss. Without any other information it is hard to say, but the fact that you have a senior manager (or director?) that is against delegation is a red flag to me. Perhaps the person is irrational, or afraid of staff complaints, or just simply a bad manager. But they're your boss, so you need to tread lightly and be sensible when you're rocking the boat. 


orioniv's picture
Training Badge

Hi Wayne

When I was about to start with O3s, with a new team as a new manager 2 years ago, I had a similar concern that my team members would not like it, feel it unnecessary, see it as "management fad of the week", or "too American" (for a Scandinavian company).

After preparing well (listening to the many MT podcasts) and thinking about how to sell the benefits of O3s to my team, I pointed out the following in my sell on a slide during one of the first team meetings:

  • Purpose is to improve relationship and thereby improve: candor, effective communication, alignment, trust, development, and performance
  • Purpose specific for manager is also to measure/assess: motivation, needs, workload, stress, potential, development needs, and performance

Verbally I specifically highlighted the possibility for my team members to tell/sell their successes during O3s, as I do not always hear about them but almost always hear about their faults or accidents. So I need the O3s to have a more well-informed view on their performance to more accurately and fairly assess them in the annual performance review and salary adjustment. Also, the O3s enables them to cover my back so when there are issues I hear about it before my boss asks me about what happened as well as me having their back to not only tell them if I had complaints about them or their deliveries but also to use feedback and coaching to (do as Jack Welch talks about) "Always let them know where they stand" rather than get a surprise at the end of the year - O3s allows me tell them more frequently what I like/appreciate they do and what they can improve, so they get a chance to improve constantly.

Hope this gives you some ideas.


Lars Axelsen, Denmark

DiSC 6621

GlennR's picture

What successes have occurred as a direct result of doing O3's?

If you can list them out, you should then market the 03's as having made progress. Evidently your directs don't see an ROI. Why is that? 

On the other hand, if you cannot point to results, then you are spinning your wheels and you are wasting their and your time.

To quote my first boss, "If nothing changes as a result of a meeting, that meeting was a waste of time."

Time for an evaluation (aka "Hotwash.") I like the following questions:

  • What do I like (e.g. what results can I show) about 03's?
  • What would I like to do differently?
  • What obstacles do I face?
  • What additional resources do I need?

Consider this question (You may or may not ask it out loud) "What's the ONE thing I can learn from this 03 that will help my direct be more successful? Generally, I end each visit with multiple tasks to perform to assist the direct. Is this true in your case?

Good luck!











naraa's picture
Training Badge

For inspiration, look at the post:

I got so used to doing O3´s that it is hard to picture how I managed before I started doing them.  My life as a manager was pretty miserable then.  My directs used to joke they needed a number for attendance at my door, I was beyond being busy and doing lots of tasks that could get done by my directs.  

Although delegation comes naturally after doing O3´s I would´t start with them.  Please note that delegation is different than simply assigning tasks (which are activities that should be performed by my directs).

Are you actually doing O3´s for 6  months or you haven´t been able to do them yet?

If you are doing them and are not yet having good results (with any of your directs), I recommend you take a look at your DISC profile and those of your directs.  You maybe a high S and are being too nurture for directs who are high D´s? For those you need to focus on the tasks and accomplishments (for high D´s O3´s can be project status update type of meetings for than relationship building ones, the relationship builds on accomplishing results together).  You can improve a lot the way you are performing the O3´s, and what you are focusing on and asking input from your directs depending on your directs profile.

If you are not doing O3´s regularly yet: "Have faith in them."  Don´t hesitate.  Don´t worry about the comments (directs will make bad comments just about any change).  It will pay off. I just would´t start with delegation, because you don´t want to go against your boss. You want your boss´s support on keeping the 03´s.

Final question/remark: What do you mean by serious setbacks?  I would risk saying they may not be that serious but I don´t know the whole story.   Don´t think about the setbacks themselves but about the consequences of those setbacks.  Can the setbacks affect the results you are trying to achieve or your position as a manager?  Or are you just uncomfortable with the pushback?  If you are just uncomfortable, just find a way not to be.  You cannot please everyone.  And sometimes, all it takes is one unpleased person, and that person can create a mess in the team.  But if you work on your relationship with the others, it will sort itself out….

BariTony's picture

I'm a high C myself, and one of the biggest shifts that I had to make when becoming a supervisor was realizing that I was a leader and needed to start acting like it.

Don't bother responding to you peers. I had (and still have) fellow managers that make fun of O3s. I simply stopped caring what they think - I don't report to them, and they don't report to me. You're responsible for the performance of your team, your peers aren't.

Don't ask permission to delegate. In your case, I wouldn't even bother to tell your boss you're delegating unless it's necessary. In most organization I've been in, it's assumed that tasks are delegated. The managers that don't realize this end up working insane hours and never get promoted past middle management. The reason is simple - they can't delegate, so they never have any time to take on more responsibility, with the result that they never grow in their careers. Your boss doesn't seem to grasp this. That's fine (though I wonder what HIS boss might think of that attitude!). The bottom line is that the tasks he assigns you need to get done, and most supervisors don't really care about the details of how that happens.

Don't try to "sell" your directs on the Trinity. You're the boss and this is what they're doing. So you managed to get over that first hurdle. Use DISC and cummunicate they "why", appropriate to each of their styles. Example: when I rolled out O3s in our staff meeting, one of the things I explained was that O3s would give us a chance to improve our relationships. One of my high D's blurted out "So what? What difference does that make and why should I care?" I didn't get upset - I just pointed out that this was one touchpoint where I could provide her with feedback every week, rather than waiting once a year to tell her when she was screwing up and needed to change her behavior. And if it took her up to a year to change any behavior that was not acceptable to the organization, then she likely wouldn't get a raise, promotion, or bonus at her annual review, and senior management would start to wonder if we needed to retain her. Suddenly she was paying very close attention to O3's.

Hope this helps.