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Jason Evanish, Founder of GetLighthouse.com
One-on-Ones:
Your secret weapon to high performing teams
February 2015
@thuelmadsen#KISSwebinar
Join the conversation on Twi er
Jason Evanish – GetLighthouse.com - @Evanish
Jason is the founder of Get Lighthouse. He previously ran
product at KISSmetrics, and co-founded the site Greenhorn
Connect, a hub for startup events and resources in the
Boston tech community.
Jason has been quoted in Fast Company, the Wall Street
Journal, and NPR. He is a regular speaker on topics of
customer development & product management and is now
applying those skills to help managers succeed with
Lighthouse.
You can read more of his learnings on his blogs at
JasonEvanish.com and GetLighthouse.com/Blog
@Evanish#KISSwebinar
Join the conversation on Twi er
WATCH WEBINAR RECORDING NOW
1 Why are one-on-ones important?
2 What makes a good one-on-one?
3 How can you have consistently, great one-on-ones?
Everything you need to know about one-on-ones
4 Why is my excuse not a good one?
5 Where can you learn more?
“…if Tim doesn’t meet with each
one of his employees in the next
24 hours, I will have no choice
but to fire him and fire you. Are
we clear?”
-  Ben Horowitz
in The Hard Thing About Hard Things
Why are One-on-Ones
so important?
“Perhaps the CEO’s most
important operational
responsibility is designing
and implementing the
communication
architecture for her
company.
Absent a well-designed
communication
architecture, information
and ideas will stagnate
and your company will
degenerate into a bad
place to work.”
— Ben Horowitz, investor at A16Z & former CEO of
Opsware
“…one-on-ones provide an
excellent mechanism for
information and ideas to
flow up the organization
and should be part of your
design.”
— Ben Horowitz, investor at A16Z and former CEO of
Opsware
What if you’re
not the CEO?
“As a middle manager, you are
in effect a chief executive of
an organization yourself.
…As a micro CEO, you can
improve your own and your
group’s performance and
productivity, whether or not
the rest of the company
follows suit.”
— Andy Grove, former CEO & Co-Founder of Intel
“Ninety minutes of your time can
enhance the quality of your
subordinate’s work for two
weeks, or for some eighty-plus
hours.”
-  Andy Grove
in High Output Management
Andy and Ben are not alone.
What makes
One-on-Ones
so special?
“You need to meet 1-on-1, in
an unstructured way, with
all your best people.
…You won’t learn, or know,
what your top people need
to find their growth path at
your company. Where they
feel stalled out and
frustrated.  
You have to ask.”
— Jason Lemkin, former CEO of EchoSign, partner at
Storm Ventures, and blogger at SaaStr.com
But why do they
all say this?
Show me the data!
1
“You can see a straight-line correlation between employee
engagement and overall effectiveness of their supervisors”
Source: Harvard Business Review, “How Damaging is a Bad Boss, Exactly?”
The be er the leader, the more engaged the team.
Source: The Gallup Organization,
“Employee Engagement, Satisfaction, and Business-Unit-Level Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis”
86%
Higher success rate
on customer metrics
78%
Be er Employee
Retention
63%
More Productive
44%
More Profitable
103%
Be er Injury &
Sick Day Rate
Engaged employees drive results.
Source: The Gallup Organization, “State of the American Workplace 2013”
Yet…
Only
30%
of employees
are engaged.
LOG IN WITH GOOGLE
Start Your Free KISSmetrics Trial
The #1 reason people leave their jobs:
Why!?!?
Management is very different than individual work.
Management is a new set of skills to master.
You o en must do managerial + individual work.
Meetings can kill your productivity.
Good management is a long game.
The one-on-one is your best tool as a manager.
What
makes a good
One-on-One?
“The most important criterion
governing ma ers to be talked
about is that they be issues that
preoccupy and nag the
subordinate.”
-  Andy Grove
in High Output Management
How to start one-on-ones with your team
• Pick a time you can stick to consistently.
• Schedule them weekly or bi-weekly for an hour.
• Send your team member a calendar invite.
• Emphasize to your team it’s their time.
More advice for starting at: h p://bit.ly/start1on1s
Tell your team members about them
Learn more & get a version you can copy at: h p://bit.ly/start1on1s
Get out of
the office
sometimes.
“While it’s not the manager’s job to set the
agenda or do the talking, the manager
should try to draw the key issues out of the
employee.
The more introverted the employee, the more
important this becomes. If you manage
engineers, drawing out issues will be an
important skill to master.”
-  Ben Horowitz
in The Hard Thing About Hard Things
Bring good questions to ask
On Long Term Goals
•  Do you feel like you’re making progress on your big goals here?
Why or why not?
On Their Improvement
•  What’s a recent situation you wished you handled differently?
What would you change?
On You Improving
•  What is something I could do be er?
On Building Rapport
•  What do you like to do in your free time? What are your hobbies?
Find 101 more questions at: h p://bit.ly/1on1questions
“Equally important is what
‘writing it down’ symbolizes.
…the act implies a commitment,
like a handshake, that something
will be done…having taken notes,
[the manager] can then follow up
at the next one-on-one.”
— Andy Grove, former CEO & Co-Founder of Intel
Take Notes.
Make the conversation actionable
1) Discuss what you can both do by next one-on-one.
2) Create a social contract so you follow through.
3) Start the next meeting checking them off.
Learn the power of progress
The best days for people at work are the ones
where they feel progress on their work and the
things that are important to them.
Source: Harvard Business Review, “The Power of Small Wins”
“Of all the things that can boost inner work life, the most
important is making progress in meaningful work.”
— Teresa Amabile, Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.
Don’t Give Up!
Warning!
The first few one-on-ones can
be awkward.
Story #1: Starting one on ones
How do you
have great
one-on-ones
consistently?
Get to know them beyond work
• Build rapport.
• Find common bonds.
• Learn what motivates and drives them.
Create the foundation for a trusting relationship.
Story #2: The Power of Rapport
Learn more about the power of rapport at: h p://bit.ly/RapportPower
Give them coaching & feedback
1.  It’s be er received than a special meeting.
2.  It’s still fresh in both your minds.
3.  Get be er context on the situation.
4.  Avoid overloading them during reviews.
5.  Fix problems while they’re small.
Story #3: A coachable moment
Talk about their long term goals
•  Don’t wait for annual reviews.
•  A plan gets them excited
•  Helps retain your team.
•  Is a strong investment in your company.
Learn more about how to talk about Goals at: h p://bit.ly/TeamGoals
Story #4: The power of growing your people
Shop ideas and get buy-in
•  Share ideas before implementing to get
candid feedback.
•  Get their buy in on tough decisions
before company-wide announcements.
Make them feel heard & part of the process.
Story #5: Ge ing buy-in before a big change
Review your notes before each meeting.
1.  Remember what you talked about.
2.  Avoid giving conflicting advice.
3.  Avoid their resentment.
4.  Keep your promises.
5.  Build momentum.
Don’t Cancel. Reschedule.
Learn more why you should never cancel at: h p://bit.ly/NeverCancel
Cheat codes
for the Pros
The Skip Level One-on-One
1.  Get feedback on their manager.
2.  Gain front line insights.
3.  Give them mentorship.
The Peer One-on-One
1.  Find ways to work be er together.
2.  Share perspectives & knowledge.
3.  Build Rapport.
But…
Debunking common excuses
But… I have an open door policy!
“I’d assumed [an open door] would
guarantee me a place in the loop, at
least when it came to major sources of
tension.
…Not a single production manager had
dropped by to express frustration or
make a suggestion in the five years we
worked on Toy Story… being on the
lookout for problems was not the same
as seeing problems.”
— Ed Catmull, Co-founder & President of Pixar Animation
But… a 15 minute catch up is enough.
“The subordinate must feel that
there is enough time to broach
and get into thorny issues.
I feel that a one-on-one should last
an hour…anything less, tends to
make the subordinate confine
himself to simple things that can
be handled quickly.”
— Andy Grove, Former Co-founder & CEO of Intel
But… I get drinks with the team all the time.
“You may think you
know if you have
drinks together, or go
see movies together, or
whatever, that you
know. But you don’t...
 
You have to ask.”
— Jason Lemkin, former CEO of EchoSign,
partner at Storm Ventures, and blogger at
SaaStr.com
Learn more from Jason at: h p://bit.ly/saastrmanagement
But… I don’t have time.
“What you quickly
realize as a manager is
that the single most
effective way to set up
a team for success in
the long run is to focus
on the people.”
 
— Julie Zhuo, Product Design Director at
Facebook
Learn more about management from Julie at: h p://bit.ly/jouleemanagement
But… my team doesn’t want to have them.
“A company lives or dies by:
•  Ge ing the best people to join the
company
•  Keeping them engaged & productive
•  Making great decisions about what
these people should work on
A manager has only a few tools in her
arsenal to do these, and 1-1’s are perhaps
the most powerful.” 
— Michael Wolfe, founder of Pipewise & Vontu, angel & advisor.
Learn more from Michael on 1 on1s at: h p://bit.ly/doineed1on1s
But… does it really ma er?
Keys to Remember
for
One-on-Ones
Many of today’s best companies have them
A checklist for great one-on-ones
! Make it their time
! 1 hour weekly or bi-weekly
! Keep a consistent schedule
! Never cancel (reschedule instead)
! Build rapport & push through awkward
! Bring good questions
! Take Notes
! Make it actionable for both of you
Further Reading
101 questions to ask in one-on-ones
Three keys to starting one-on-ones with your team
What to expect when you start having one-on-ones
21 reasons you should start one-on-ones with your team
The best of Andy Grove's High Output Management
Why you might be doing one-on-ones wrong
Questions?
Thue Madsen
Marketing Operations Specialist
KISSmetrics
@ThueLMadsen
tmadsen@kissmetrics.com
Jason Evanish
Founder
Get Lighthouse
@Evanish
Jason@GetLighthouse.com
THANK YOU
Jason Evanish
Founder, GetLighthouse.com

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One-on-Ones: Your Secret Weapon to High Performing Teams

  • 1. Jason Evanish, Founder of GetLighthouse.com One-on-Ones: Your secret weapon to high performing teams February 2015
  • 3. Jason Evanish – GetLighthouse.com - @Evanish Jason is the founder of Get Lighthouse. He previously ran product at KISSmetrics, and co-founded the site Greenhorn Connect, a hub for startup events and resources in the Boston tech community. Jason has been quoted in Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, and NPR. He is a regular speaker on topics of customer development & product management and is now applying those skills to help managers succeed with Lighthouse. You can read more of his learnings on his blogs at JasonEvanish.com and GetLighthouse.com/Blog
  • 6. 1 Why are one-on-ones important? 2 What makes a good one-on-one? 3 How can you have consistently, great one-on-ones? Everything you need to know about one-on-ones 4 Why is my excuse not a good one? 5 Where can you learn more?
  • 7. “…if Tim doesn’t meet with each one of his employees in the next 24 hours, I will have no choice but to fire him and fire you. Are we clear?” -  Ben Horowitz in The Hard Thing About Hard Things
  • 9. “Perhaps the CEO’s most important operational responsibility is designing and implementing the communication architecture for her company. Absent a well-designed communication architecture, information and ideas will stagnate and your company will degenerate into a bad place to work.” — Ben Horowitz, investor at A16Z & former CEO of Opsware
  • 10. “…one-on-ones provide an excellent mechanism for information and ideas to flow up the organization and should be part of your design.” — Ben Horowitz, investor at A16Z and former CEO of Opsware
  • 12. “As a middle manager, you are in effect a chief executive of an organization yourself. …As a micro CEO, you can improve your own and your group’s performance and productivity, whether or not the rest of the company follows suit.” — Andy Grove, former CEO & Co-Founder of Intel
  • 13. “Ninety minutes of your time can enhance the quality of your subordinate’s work for two weeks, or for some eighty-plus hours.” -  Andy Grove in High Output Management
  • 14. Andy and Ben are not alone.
  • 16. “You need to meet 1-on-1, in an unstructured way, with all your best people. …You won’t learn, or know, what your top people need to find their growth path at your company. Where they feel stalled out and frustrated.   You have to ask.” — Jason Lemkin, former CEO of EchoSign, partner at Storm Ventures, and blogger at SaaStr.com
  • 17. But why do they all say this? Show me the data! 1
  • 18. “You can see a straight-line correlation between employee engagement and overall effectiveness of their supervisors” Source: Harvard Business Review, “How Damaging is a Bad Boss, Exactly?” The be er the leader, the more engaged the team.
  • 19. Source: The Gallup Organization, “Employee Engagement, Satisfaction, and Business-Unit-Level Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis” 86% Higher success rate on customer metrics 78% Be er Employee Retention 63% More Productive 44% More Profitable 103% Be er Injury & Sick Day Rate Engaged employees drive results.
  • 20. Source: The Gallup Organization, “State of the American Workplace 2013” Yet… Only 30% of employees are engaged.
  • 21. LOG IN WITH GOOGLE Start Your Free KISSmetrics Trial
  • 22. The #1 reason people leave their jobs:
  • 24. Management is very different than individual work.
  • 25. Management is a new set of skills to master.
  • 26. You o en must do managerial + individual work.
  • 27. Meetings can kill your productivity.
  • 28. Good management is a long game.
  • 29. The one-on-one is your best tool as a manager.
  • 31. “The most important criterion governing ma ers to be talked about is that they be issues that preoccupy and nag the subordinate.” -  Andy Grove in High Output Management
  • 32. How to start one-on-ones with your team • Pick a time you can stick to consistently. • Schedule them weekly or bi-weekly for an hour. • Send your team member a calendar invite. • Emphasize to your team it’s their time. More advice for starting at: h p://bit.ly/start1on1s
  • 33. Tell your team members about them Learn more & get a version you can copy at: h p://bit.ly/start1on1s
  • 34. Get out of the office sometimes.
  • 35. “While it’s not the manager’s job to set the agenda or do the talking, the manager should try to draw the key issues out of the employee. The more introverted the employee, the more important this becomes. If you manage engineers, drawing out issues will be an important skill to master.” -  Ben Horowitz in The Hard Thing About Hard Things
  • 36. Bring good questions to ask On Long Term Goals •  Do you feel like you’re making progress on your big goals here? Why or why not? On Their Improvement •  What’s a recent situation you wished you handled differently? What would you change? On You Improving •  What is something I could do be er? On Building Rapport •  What do you like to do in your free time? What are your hobbies? Find 101 more questions at: h p://bit.ly/1on1questions
  • 37. “Equally important is what ‘writing it down’ symbolizes. …the act implies a commitment, like a handshake, that something will be done…having taken notes, [the manager] can then follow up at the next one-on-one.” — Andy Grove, former CEO & Co-Founder of Intel Take Notes.
  • 38. Make the conversation actionable 1) Discuss what you can both do by next one-on-one. 2) Create a social contract so you follow through. 3) Start the next meeting checking them off.
  • 39. Learn the power of progress The best days for people at work are the ones where they feel progress on their work and the things that are important to them. Source: Harvard Business Review, “The Power of Small Wins” “Of all the things that can boost inner work life, the most important is making progress in meaningful work.” — Teresa Amabile, Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.
  • 40. Don’t Give Up! Warning! The first few one-on-ones can be awkward.
  • 41. Story #1: Starting one on ones
  • 42. How do you have great one-on-ones consistently?
  • 43. Get to know them beyond work • Build rapport. • Find common bonds. • Learn what motivates and drives them. Create the foundation for a trusting relationship.
  • 44. Story #2: The Power of Rapport Learn more about the power of rapport at: h p://bit.ly/RapportPower
  • 45. Give them coaching & feedback 1.  It’s be er received than a special meeting. 2.  It’s still fresh in both your minds. 3.  Get be er context on the situation. 4.  Avoid overloading them during reviews. 5.  Fix problems while they’re small.
  • 46. Story #3: A coachable moment
  • 47. Talk about their long term goals •  Don’t wait for annual reviews. •  A plan gets them excited •  Helps retain your team. •  Is a strong investment in your company. Learn more about how to talk about Goals at: h p://bit.ly/TeamGoals
  • 48. Story #4: The power of growing your people
  • 49. Shop ideas and get buy-in •  Share ideas before implementing to get candid feedback. •  Get their buy in on tough decisions before company-wide announcements. Make them feel heard & part of the process.
  • 50. Story #5: Ge ing buy-in before a big change
  • 51. Review your notes before each meeting. 1.  Remember what you talked about. 2.  Avoid giving conflicting advice. 3.  Avoid their resentment. 4.  Keep your promises. 5.  Build momentum.
  • 52. Don’t Cancel. Reschedule. Learn more why you should never cancel at: h p://bit.ly/NeverCancel
  • 54. The Skip Level One-on-One 1.  Get feedback on their manager. 2.  Gain front line insights. 3.  Give them mentorship.
  • 55. The Peer One-on-One 1.  Find ways to work be er together. 2.  Share perspectives & knowledge. 3.  Build Rapport.
  • 57. But… I have an open door policy! “I’d assumed [an open door] would guarantee me a place in the loop, at least when it came to major sources of tension. …Not a single production manager had dropped by to express frustration or make a suggestion in the five years we worked on Toy Story… being on the lookout for problems was not the same as seeing problems.” — Ed Catmull, Co-founder & President of Pixar Animation
  • 58. But… a 15 minute catch up is enough. “The subordinate must feel that there is enough time to broach and get into thorny issues. I feel that a one-on-one should last an hour…anything less, tends to make the subordinate confine himself to simple things that can be handled quickly.” — Andy Grove, Former Co-founder & CEO of Intel
  • 59. But… I get drinks with the team all the time. “You may think you know if you have drinks together, or go see movies together, or whatever, that you know. But you don’t...   You have to ask.” — Jason Lemkin, former CEO of EchoSign, partner at Storm Ventures, and blogger at SaaStr.com Learn more from Jason at: h p://bit.ly/saastrmanagement
  • 60. But… I don’t have time. “What you quickly realize as a manager is that the single most effective way to set up a team for success in the long run is to focus on the people.”   — Julie Zhuo, Product Design Director at Facebook Learn more about management from Julie at: h p://bit.ly/jouleemanagement
  • 61. But… my team doesn’t want to have them. “A company lives or dies by: •  Ge ing the best people to join the company •  Keeping them engaged & productive •  Making great decisions about what these people should work on A manager has only a few tools in her arsenal to do these, and 1-1’s are perhaps the most powerful.”  — Michael Wolfe, founder of Pipewise & Vontu, angel & advisor. Learn more from Michael on 1 on1s at: h p://bit.ly/doineed1on1s
  • 62. But… does it really ma er?
  • 64. Many of today’s best companies have them
  • 65. A checklist for great one-on-ones ! Make it their time ! 1 hour weekly or bi-weekly ! Keep a consistent schedule ! Never cancel (reschedule instead) ! Build rapport & push through awkward ! Bring good questions ! Take Notes ! Make it actionable for both of you
  • 66. Further Reading 101 questions to ask in one-on-ones Three keys to starting one-on-ones with your team What to expect when you start having one-on-ones 21 reasons you should start one-on-ones with your team The best of Andy Grove's High Output Management Why you might be doing one-on-ones wrong
  • 67. Questions? Thue Madsen Marketing Operations Specialist KISSmetrics @ThueLMadsen tmadsen@kissmetrics.com Jason Evanish Founder Get Lighthouse @Evanish Jason@GetLighthouse.com
  • 68. THANK YOU Jason Evanish Founder, GetLighthouse.com