Justin Ricklefs


On Leadership: Careful What You Ask

“I’m sorry I whiffed on these the last two quarters…”

I started each conversation with some version of that, owning how I’d let busyness distract me from something we hold so dear.

We call them 90 day check-ins.

Not lame corporate job evaluations. Or heavy-handed attempts at control and conformity.

But conversations with each of our team members where I ask questions, trying to see what it’s like for them.

Like things do when you lose focus, stuff drifted. Not towards growth and health, but towards silence and silos.

In that 180 period, lots of stuff happened. And I had an invitation to hear from our people on what they were seeing, and I missed it.

A wonderful part about leadership however, is the ability to say sorry and ask for another chance.

So these last few weeks, that’s exactly what we’ve done. Sitting with our team to hear their perspective on:

– What should we stop doing immediately?
– What is the most challenging aspect of your role?
– What one thing do you need from me that I haven’t provided?

And dozens more.

Asking the questions however, is only half of the chore. Taking action is the harder, and more important, half.

Careful what you ask. They’ll trust (and expect) you to lead on their behalf.

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