Derek, BOB, KIM discussed on Wisdom From The Top


Which is a very natural and normal human reaction. Right? I mean, when you get on the balcony, you look down on it, you want to say Kim, you gotta tell bob, but at the same time, when we're off the balcony and on the dance floor, we don't want to hurt his feelings. And if he does say, wow, Kim, she's awful, she's such a meanie. And he starts to see that idea in the company, it could, it could become toxic. It could, although, what was becoming toxic and what usually creates toxicity was that I wasn't doing anything about the fact that he was doing suboptimal work. And I realized if I don't fire bob, I'm gonna lose all my best performers. So I sat down and have a conversation with bob that I should have frankly started ten months previously. And when I finished explaining to him where things stood, he looked at me right in the eye and he said, why didn't you tell me? And now I realized that by not telling bob, just trying to be nice, quote unquote, nice. I'm having to fire him because of it, not so nice after all. And it was terrible. It was a terrible moment. It was bad for me. It was much worse for bob, of course, but it was also terrible for the whole team. And it was terrible for our results for our ability to achieve our goals. And this is the most common management mistake I've ever seen. I've seen it happen over and over and over again. I'm assuming that at that point in your life and career you had no formal management training. No, absolutely not. You were sort of learning on the job, which is how a lot of young startup founders learn. Yes. Even managers at really big companies with big L and D budgets often get very little management training and the management training they do get is often not very good. You mention another employee named Derek. And this is a very typical. I've seen this throughout my career and Derek is somebody who is in customer service who is excellent. And his job just terrific everyone loved him. Customers loved him. People would send a baked goods, and you wanted to promote him, and he was like, not interested. Yeah, he didn't want a promotion because he, what he really wanted was a Roland Broadway. And so what he wanted to do was come into work, do great work, leave it 5, and then go be in these off Broadway productions. So I decided that I would hire someone else to run customer service. And that was the right decision. If someone says they don't want the job, don't make them take it. But the problem was that I kind of wrote off Derek. And Derek was very frustrated. The person who I did hire didn't really value the role of customer service. What he really wanted to do was to have my boss's job. He wanted to be the CEO of the company. And he looked down his nose on the work that his team was doing. And he sort of thought, you know, customer service is you just hire B players to do customer service. And Derek was not a B player. He did great work. Yeah. But his boss didn't respect him. And didn't respect his work and didn't honor or value his work. We wrote him off his low potential. And there is no such thing as a low potential human being. And eventually Derrick got sick of being treated this way and he quit. And then the baked goods quit coming. And our customer satisfaction went down and it really hurt the business. And so it's so important that you reward great performance. And you don't set up a situation in which everyone is obsessed with promotion. And obsessed with management. Being a manager is it is an important job, but it's not the be all and end all. There's a lot of different ways to navigate your career. So knowing what you know now, 20 years later, let's do that scenario. You go to Derek and you see you're awesome. I want to promote you to run the customer support team, Derek says Kim, I really, I'm not interested. I'm happy where I am. What do you do next? I would have hired someone to who wanted to manage the team to manage the team. But I wouldn't have hired the guy I hired. I would have made sure that Derek got to interview his boss. Right. And tell me what he thought. That is crucial. And that's all part of going back to creating checks and balances. You don't want to give any manager who you hire sort of unilateral decision making authority. So you want to make sure that the people who are going to work for someone get to interview them and that they have a say in who their boss is. So that's number one. Number two is I would have honored Derek as an expert. And when new people were coming onto the team, I would have said, if you have a question about how to handle something, go ask Derek. And I would have even maybe changed his metrics a little bit so that he could spend some percentage of his time. If he wanted to do this, which Derek would have wanted to do, teaching people instead of doing the job because you get, you know, in World War II, the U.S. Air Force would bring its very best pilots back and have them teach new pilots. And the first and the Germans, meanwhile, just flew their pilots till they crashed and died. And it had short term benefit for the Germans, but a long-term negative impact. So you want to make sure that you're finding the people who are best in a role who may not want the next big job, but you want to set them up as sort of the heat the word guru. But the go to people that others can turn to and can learn from. So that you're honoring them for their expertise. When we come back in just a moment, Kim Scott finds the workplace culture she dreamt of and develops the managerial style, she's become known for, not at a startup, but at Google. Stay with us, I'm guy rise and you're listening to wisdom from the top. Support for this podcast and the following message come from Zoom, half a million businesses connect using Zoom, a single platform for phone, chat, workspaces, events, apps, and video, zoom enables real-time collaboration for teams around the globe, zoom secure and reliable platform, it's easy to manage, use, and customize for large enterprises, small businesses, and individuals alike. Zoom, how the world connects. Support for this podcast comes from NPR sponsor tagger media, want to level up your influencer marketing campaigns, but bogged down by complicated tech or inaccurate data, meet tagger, deleting influencer marketing platform that's actually easy to use. Taggers award winning platform helps top global brands and agencies maximize their ROI throughout every phase of planning, discovery, activation, and reporting. To demo the sleek intuitive platform head to tagger media dot com slash wisdom. Hey, welcome back to wisdom from the top. I'm guy raz. So it's 2004 and Kim Scott is looking to up her Nigeria skills at an established tech giant. So who does she call? An old business school classmate. You happen to have a classmate from business school, whose name was Sheryl Sandberg who was working at Google at the time. You called her and said, hey, does Google have any openings and you went through a rigorous, I think, 27 interview process. And eventually got an offer to lead a team of a hundred people working on AdSense, which ads for small and medium sized businesses. Tell me what was struck you when you first got to Google because you had come from a position where you were managing people and admittedly badly. Yeah. What.

Coming up next