Keep your manager in the loop by communicating up

As a leader, while you want to demonstrate that you can operate independently and run your own show, it is important to keep your manager in the loop about the progress you are making and hurdles you are overcoming. 

Don’t wait for them to ask for an update. Most managers will appreciate an update even if they haven’t asked for it. 

Frequent concise updates are a lot more useful than infrequent lengthy updates.

The simple formula to uncover your blind spots as a manager

When the intent of your action doesn’t match the impact, many times the underlying reason is your blind spots. Proactively ask for feedback from your peers, direct reports, and manager. A simple question – “Do you have any feedback for me?” – goes a long way in uncovering these unknown unknowns.

An easy way to know your team better

Beyond project status and deadlines, it is important to connect with your direct reports, know them as a person, connect to their story. When you know something is happening in their life outside of work, talk about it rather than sidestepping it. Let them know that you care. 

Delegation 101 – Use these tips to start delegating

Delegation in simple terms is getting stuff done through others. The fundamental concept in delegation is Who will do What by When

What – make it clear what is expected to be delivered 

When – make it clear by when they need to deliver it. Set a clear deadline.

In addition to “what” and “when”, “why” is also important. Explain to them why this task is important and how it connects to the larger picture.

In the end, when they deliver it, review the work, and provide feedback. Failing to review the work in a timely manner sends a signal that the deadline was artificial.