Team Goals, Quarterly Think Days, and Time Management in 2021

Manager TLDR – Issue 33

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Welcome to the first issue of 2021 🎉

In order to serve you with the best content possible this year, we want to start this email with the following question:

→ What’s your biggest management challenge? 

Email us at letting us know what you’d like to see us cover next. We’re here to help you on your journey to becoming a great leader!

Now, here’s some of the content that has resonated with our community recently:

🎯 How to set team goals that actually work (8 min read) 

TLDR: Team goals that are set collaboratively motivate your team members and keep them committed to each other, their work, and the organization.  

Step 1: Create alignment between team goals and company goals

Step 2: Use past data to set realistic (yet challenging) targets

Step 3: Share goals publicly in a tool that’s accessible to everyone 

“Marieke & co. showed that teams with higher levels of goal clarity performed better than their counterparts. Clear goals activate the motivational mechanisms of our cognition that stimulate high performance. When team members know what is expected of them, they know what they need to do to accomplish that objective.”

🧠 Smarter, not harder. How to succeed at work (4 min read)

TLDR: We each have 96 energy blocks each day to spend however we’d like. Here are some expert tips on how you can make the most of that time:

– Think of your day as having 96 (15-minute) blocks 

– Write a list of all the goals you have, and circle the top three

– Allocate 32 blocks of energy to those three priorities

“The most successful people I know have one thing in common: they are masters at eliminating the unnecessary from their lives. The French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry hit on the same idea, writing in his memoir, ‘Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.’ This principle, it turns out, is the key to success.”

⏰ 8 ways to improve time management (8 min read) 

TLDR: There are certain time management techniques you can implement to get more done and have a bigger impact. Here are three of them:

1. Set weekly priorities and share them with your team (or manager)

2. Time block your schedule so you always know when you’re doing what

3. Develop better meeting habits so every meeting starts and ends on time. Of course, we recommend using a meeting agenda tool like 👇

“A study by the University of North Carolina showed that how workers feel about the effectiveness of meetings correlates with their general satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their jobs, even after controlling for personality traits and environmental factors such as work design, supervision, and pay. The good news is, we’ve found that changing the way your organization approaches meetings is possible.”

💭 Why you should set aside one day every quarter just to think (5 min read)

TLDR: It is very easy to get lost in the day-to-day. There’s always some fire to put out or some recurring task that needs your attention (and doesn’t let you think about the big picture). This is what a Quarterly Think Day is all about:

1. Announce to your team that you will be offline and cancel all meetings 

2. Be clear with yourself on what you want to accomplish by the end of the day

3. Every quarter, review how much you actually followed through

“As a Manager, my days are gobbled up by one-on-ones with nine direct reports, meetings with stakeholders, and planning meetings. That doesn’t leave much time for deep thinking. I find the Quarterly Think day a way to battle the ‘busy manager’ this HBR article warns us against.”

🎙 New on the Supermanagers podcast

Episode 31: John Weigelt (National Technology Officer at Microsoft Canada) explores the strategies he uses to convince large institutions to adopt new ways of thinking and operating.

Episode 32: Farhan Thawar (VP of Engineering at Shopify) shares his insights on management, hiring, and the value of speed at work.

Episode 33: Amy Sandler (Chief Content Officer at Radical Candor) explains what we need to keep in mind when providing critical feedback and praise to our teams.

We hope that this issue of the Manager TLDR newsletter was helpful and inspiring!

Make sure to let us know your favourite takeaways by tagging @fellowapp on Twitter or on LinkedIn 🙂

Thanks for being part of our community,

Manuela and the Team 👋


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