Microsoft, Cleveland, Blair discussed on Build Business Acumen Podcast

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So the way I think about managing teams is very much like figure out what you're not good at higher for those things, and leave them the heck alone do not go micromanaging, after you've hired people who are literally experts in their fifty. So come first the importance of diverse set of folks, and that's, that's not only some of the traditional definitions of diversity, where some grew up with what are the set of experiences that led them to this place. What are the things that they're passionate about where do they come from? Right. So if you even take a bunch of folks who may look the same externally all them bring their own unique creativity and passionate. And some of some of the outcomes of that is proven with data here. A two anecdotes Martine. So we were we were trying to get together in. And figure out what, what color should are t-shirt be right? So very, very important user future what, what color shirt shirt being? It's amazing. How many opinions there are? Yeah. So he and I decided, we're gonna just make a choice where like red red is the best Rattlers add on either for we should on his right. So we're gonna go with red and, you know, way, less boring than dark, gray or some other sort of techy techies. Right. One of my team grew up in Cleveland. He's after American in from relatively lower income by by background. And he, he pointed out very accurately that in parts of the United States. Someone wearing Reggie shirt is proceeding part of the Crips again. And so, you, you by wearing red t shirt, you're signaling, something that you might not intending, which is something that I never thought I'd never occurred users, like literally something that never crossed my mind because I only been to Cleveland for, like three days, right? Yeah. So having that background made made a possible. I make even that of relatively minor. Decision of of the key. The shirt, color another, another example was when we were working with a bunch of entrepreneurs in, in Lagos, Nigeria, one of the social entrepreneurs were working with was working with a aband- of, of children to recycle trash. So they'd convert the trash those Lang around in, in making into something useful like like a fuel to, to cook with. And so one of the folks on our team grew up in rural India and she pointed out, hey, we need to be very, very careful. We as Microsoft supporting this particular for Noor 'cause very easily. It could be against child labor laws. And so that this literally, something that we really came. We, we love recycling. Love the idea of transforming trash in says something good. But, like we never thought about the social locations of supporting so the importance of diversity, sometimes comes out in prising ways over and beyond the business outcomes. The second thing that sort of mentioned was importance. Of focusing on the individual, so, you know, providing some sort of clear framework, you're our goals here, the ways that we're a proving that we're measuring that were achieving these goals, then allowing each person to bring their full self to work, and so, you know, he might not be expecting a filmmaker who happens to code to bring a tremendous crash to the project. But just that the fact that they're able to leverage some of the skill sets that are pressed the board would help out in an I will not Lemass management trick that I have sort of a learned the hard way is the importance of providing like co creating with them like no one's gonna get right? The first time it is a prospect, German tation it is. Sometimes you win, sometimes, you'll learn but sometimes people act in ways that they don't intent or they they're delivering results that are under under what you don't expect so the importance of criticizing in private and take. Someone aside and say, hey, look, here are the expectations that we had here, some of the ways in which I think that, you know that the results could be better. What are the ways that we can work on that privately? And then when you wanna pray someone a K you're doing a great job. You you sing that from the rooftops like, hey, you send emails to everyone you mentioned them in a team meeting. You send it to their boss's boss's boss and just, just praise loudly and the, the effect that, that having public praise has on someone is pretty pretty magnificence. I think those are the three main management techniques that I've learned in, in this role. So I've got two more on which kind of related one is creating a safe space for everyone to bring their whole self to work, right? It's a big mission of Microsoft is bring your whole self to work and use Microsoft's platform to cheap your passion in the managers really important. It's really important because if the manager is like opening your whole self to work actually, why are you doing that? You know, spare you need to be working, that's not helpful. Recently. We've heard of a manager being very critical of an employee. Not when no one on our team about, you know, working on pers personal passion project at home. And then talking about that passion project at work like, oh I you know, I didn't know you working on this creative project. How dare you have a life of edible. Exactly. Oh, make sure are you? Sure, you didn't use any work time for this, blah, blah, blah. I'm like, I'm sorry. But that's what we. That's very, very bad behavior. I consider that to be incredibly disrespectful, because this is like saying, oh, you're a parent. You are not here. Exactly at eight. Am you know how dare you? Right. That's that kind you change. Too many debris, exactly exactly so exception of the nothing really is when I hear it makes me really angry because what you're saying, then is don't actually bring your whole software. Right. So we are firm advocates bring yourself to work. The other one is aren't understand the currency of the human. So each person each person, we manage our lead or have on our team have a different currency for what. Motivates them. Right. Some it's more opportunities. Others it's fame. It's fame. Right. Like I will drag you on stage and put a spotlight on you. Some people, that's. I. Shavers. Some people hate that. They're like. Oh, no. Yeah. Like we have someone on our team name Blair, where he does not want frame, Blair looking at you. Sorry, you're gonna work. Don't doesn't want me to drag onstage? He doesn't want me to, you know, another fine. He doesn't want me to announce on Twitter. He doesn't want these things. He wants to do good job and be rewarded for his good very quietly quietly. So it really is the currency of the human that's been. My latest learning is the way, I like to be rewarded is not like hover Nel's likes rewarding. So it really comes down to a conversation with the person to ask a really important question, which was when you did good work. What was the best reward you've ever gotten and? Sit sit some there. Anyway. People keep that to me. Unlike unlike? So that's one thing we've learned, which is figure out someone's reward currency and use that, right? Because many people, it's oh, I want the freedom to travel, or I want the freedom to buy new hardware, like people have the weirdest currencies. I want to be involved. In other teams business like if someone if my managers K I want you to get involved with ex teams meetings. I'm like, why are you doing this to me to him? This would be the great best reward in the world. I'm like, why are you giving me more? No not yet. Me. You know Brandon on my team if I go in and read in high Brandon if I involved and other teams business he's so happy, I'm like hating, go see with excel team is doing his longtime ally. Meanwhile, if you want me to go to the excel teams leading no offense excel team. I don't really wanna go right? So it really is the reward currency, and it is so important for manager to understand that for each person, and take the time to do it. And then life becomes wave for everyone. How interesting as fantastic is just just dive. Vice. Thank you. You only have one hour. Twenty minutes twenty minutes. Yeah. Go, but not. So this leads beautifully into interpersonal skills, right on trying to work on. I'm not gonna lie. I don't come from a big business background. I don't get out enough. A work too hard. I'd probably don't talk to enough people, and I get nervous Jupiter things. Yeah, get emotional and raw raw the wrong Email. Right. And I'm sorry for that. I'm trying to get better. Right. So interpersonal, skills are just continue learning. Like we have been is that we're not perfect. We're human rights, and we're trying to get better. Yeah. I mean, not age. Yeah. Yeah. I think for for me, I constantly Imler running. Let's say you know, not not a ton of wins a whole bunch of learning's, one of one of the things that I work at a lot is just trying to listen. More I try whenever I can not to impose my point of view. I always have a point of view. I always think that my point of view was rights. I always think that, you know, I am better informed with us in the world. I am biased. But I try consciously to work on, on just listening more surprising, just the things that people will tell you just by asking, what's. So why is this important to you? Right. Shut up. And then I tell you, why it's important if you're listening, you know, certainly, there, some amount of Guyana guys and people don't say exactly what they mean. But to some extent, if you just ask people, the question, they will they will tell you the ends, it will tell you who they are because no one ever asks and that, you know, the underlying motivation time like all these things like listening more co creation, just the making a safe space for someone to be themselves creates this really richness that you can have the ability into to your point, you can send someone a short Email, if you have a deep amount of trust with that person, like, hey, I needed to do this right now. Trust me. Yeah. But if you don't know that person, you, we get those text all the time, and we do them, right. Yeah. But if you don't know the person you're like, wait a sec you semi one on Email. And I don't really know you that. Well, and now I'm working or what do you think badly of me, like did someone see something in sort of it unlocks his Spiro on you? Whereas if you if you put in the. Time you put money into a relationship Bank, then on those times when you need to make a withdrawal becomes way easier. So listening, more hunting more time into understanding someone's currency is reinforcing that putting putting more work into a relationship even even a ration- ship at work, and, you know, we end up spending a lot of time at work. And so the more that you invest in any relationship, the better, it tends to get even if even of sort of difficult person to work with, like, hey, you at least develop are begrudging respect for the person. So listening more trying to understand what their motivations what the currency is trying to invest in that relationship where you can, you.

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