Former CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch produced 10 Leadership Lessons You Don’t Want to Learn the Hard Way. 7 of those 10 lessons can be alleviated or purely fixed with the help of One on One Meetings.

7 “Wish I Had Known” Leadership Lessons You Don’t Want to Learn the Hard Way

1. Simple, consistent, focused communications travel faster and are understood better by the organization.

It is always, always, always better to over communicate than under communicate. As so many managers who do One on Ones meetings know, the best way to press pause, communicate with your team, and develop a sincere relationship is to schedule and hold One on One meetings.

Keys to making this happen: Schedule in your calendar and the calendar of every direct report 30 minutes a week for a One on One. If it is not in your calendar, it will not be consistent.

2. Continuous learning is critical for success — make it a priority.

In Daniel Pink’s Drive, Mastery is one of the key driving factors of motivation and self satisfaction. Pushing each direct report to read and learn is critical to making continuous learning a success.

Keys to making this happen: In your One on One meeting, ask questions such as:

  • What is the best article or book you’ve read in the last week?
  • What do you want to learn this week? (Process, customers, marketing collateral, training)

Asking questions that probe the development and learning cycles with push them to be greater.

3. Over time, you have to develop a real generosity gene — and love to see each person on your team earn raises, get promotions and grow personally.

Better relationships produce better results. Spending quality time with each direct report is critical to develop an authentic relationship.

Keys to making this happen: start the One on One off on just listening to each direct report and what’s on their mind. Ask questions as simple as “How are you?” or “What’s keeping you happy and inspired out of work?”

4. Attracting, developing and retaining world-class talent is your never-ending job.

Managers have the two toughest jobs: results and retention. People leave the manager, not the job or company. Attracting great talent, developing them, and retaining all require processes put in place. Constant trainings, reinforced coaching, great relationship building exercises and One on One meetings are a great start.

5. Your company’s values and your personal values must be compatible.

There is a no better way to communicate the merging of company values and personal values better than through story telling. One story to one direct report will make ripples through the rest of the organization. Whether it is a team meeting or an individual One on One meeting, tell stories around personal and company values that align to your true self.

6. Creating an environment of candor and trust is a must.

One of the hardest environments to create as a manager is complete candor. There are thousands of ways to communicate these days from Twitter, Slack, Facebook, Gmail chat, and more. Creating an environment of candor and trust will diminish any back biting and other toxins to the culture.

Keys to making this happen: Be vulnerable in One on One meetings is a great way to develop intimate trust in a controlled manner.

7. Differentiation breeds meritocracy. Sameness breeds mediocrity.

Differentiation by Jack Welch has been covered before on WideAngle’s blog. Not every direct report is the same. Each one has different skills and talents. Identify them as individuals and understand their degree of ambition and unique talents. This will help you help them achieve their goals with promotions and raises.

Keys to making this happen: Ask questions such as:

  • Where do you see yourself in 2 years?
  • How can I help you achieve your professional goals?
  • Are there other parts of the business where you can help?

Give the option to do more and be better than they are and see where each direct report runs with it.

The best leaders leverage the most powerful management tool: One on One meetings. Try WideAngle now for you One on One meetings.

WideAngle is One on One meeting software used by companies including General Electric, IBM, AT&T, Google, and many more to make sure One on Ones happen, are productive, and documented.

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