Leadership Resolutions, Meeting Objectives, and the Art of Managing-Up

Manager TLDR – Issue 34

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Hey fellow managers and leaders!

We’re back with new content to level-up your leadership, meeting, and productivity habits. 🙌

Check out the articles and podcast interviews we curated – and make sure to email blog@fellow.app letting us know what type of content you’d like to see next.

⭐️ 5 Micro-Resolutions to Reignite Your Management Style in 2021 (9 min read) | Fellow Blog

TLDR: There’s a reason that large sweeping new year’s resolutions don’t last and begin to fizzle out around February. Working toward smaller goals (or what we call micro-resolutions) is far easier and can lead to larger sustained changes. Here are three of the five micro-resolutions managers should focus on in 2021:

1. Let people know how their individual work contributes to the overall success of the team.

2. Don’t shy away from difficult conversations (e.g. feedback) if they’re going to help your teammates grow.

3. Practice self-reflection and continuous professional development.

“At the end of the day, and the next time you’re feeling COVID fatigue take hold and your determination and strength begin to wane, remember that none of us become better leaders overnight. It takes time, dedication, and systematically bettering yourself one little micro-resolution at a time.”


👊 Tough Love for Managers Who Give Feedback (3 min read) | Lara Hogan

TLDR: These reminders are for the managers and executives who need to step-up how they deliver feedback to their reports: 

1. Tie your feedback to a career ladder or job description, and focus on the person’s work – not your emotions. 

2. Frame your feedback in terms of your observations, rather than assumptions or judgments.

3. Synthesize others’ feedback into something that you can confidently deliver to your teammate and support them in finding ways to address this feedback.

“It’s your responsibility to clearly (and kindly) articulate what’s expected of them in their role, and what the gaps are. If you avoid being direct—even if it sucks to do so, on top of everything else happening in the world!—you’re setting them up for failure.”


✅ Why Are We Meeting? How to Set Meeting Objectives That Drive Productivity (7 min read) | Fellow Blog

TLDR: “What was the point of that meeting?”… “What am I supposed to do next?”… “That meeting could’ve been an email”… – These are all thoughts and comments you can avoid by doing one simple thing: Choose a clear meeting objective. Here are three questions you can use to articulate one:

1. Do you want to come to a unified decision once the meeting is over? If so, what is that decision?

2. Do you want to generate a list of ideas or goals? If so, about what?

3. Does your team need to create a plan of action regarding a certain problem the organization is facing?

“When you schedule the meeting, consider writing the objective in the calendar invite. You can also make it clear and explicit when naming the calendar event, so nothing gets missed and attendees come prepared. When you begin the meeting, start by clearly stating the objectives, just in case any attendees missed the memo.”


If your team is using a meeting productivity tool like Fellow, you can write the meeting objective directly in the agenda and ask participants to add talking points and ideas in advance, so everyone shows up prepared to have a productive discussion!


⬆️ A Tactical Guide to Managing Up (30 min read) | First Round Review

TLDR: Like any relationship, that of the manager and their report is a two-way street, and the task of navigating the often bumpy road falls on both parties. Whether you want to start your partnership with a new manager off on the right foot, or you’re looking to make an already great working relationship with your boss even better, these are some tactics you can apply to manage up effectively:

Leave assumptions at the door: If you don’t know what your manager cares about, ask in your next 1:1. To effectively manage up, you’ve got to understand what your boss wants and needs.

Build lasting rapport and trust: Open up about your work “love language”. In other words, share with your manager what motivates you and drives you to do great work.

Communicate proactively: At the first sign of something not going according to plan, be upfront and communicate clearly. 

“Ultimately, trust between you and your manager makes the inevitable bumps of life much smoother. From missed deadlines and shelved projects, to tense cross-functional partnerships, a strong rapport and working foundation will often go farther than any dashboard chock-full of metrics ever could.”


🎙 New on the Supermanagers podcast

We interview leaders from all walks of life to tease out the habits, thought patterns, learnings and experiences that help them be extraordinary at the fine craft of management.

Episode 34: Nick Stein (CMO at Top Hat) explores why hiring should be approached through a relationship lens, and why those who believe in your company’s mission are more likely to be great team members.

Episode 35: Cameron Herold (Founder of COO Alliance) talks about the upside-down pyramid and why an “old-school” leader wouldn’t survive in today’s business world.

Episode 36: Amber Hurdle (creator of the Velvet Machete leadership model) shares how personality assessments can help us develop self-awareness and understand what areas to focus on.

Episode 37: Jonathan Ronzio (CMO at Trainual) explains how his outdoor adventures have influenced his leadership style – as well as the decisions he makes when it comes to storytelling and marketing.


That’s it for this week! We hope that this issue of the Manager TLDR newsletter inspired you to continue working towards becoming a great leader.

🐦 And if you’re not already following us on Twitter, you can find us as @fellowapp 🙂 

Thanks for being part of our community,

Manuela and the Fellow.app Team 👋

Your team will thank you.

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