As we scale Treehouse, I’ve been getting an on-the-job-MBA. It’s both stressful and really fun at the same time. One new tactic I’m trying is a bi-weekly 30 minute 1-on-1 meeting with each person I lead, with a very specific agenda.
I have a 30 minute meeting (Google Hangout or in-person), every other Monday, with the following folks:
- Chief Content Officer - Nick Pettit
- Chief Operating Officer / Chief Financial Officer - Mike Watson
- Chief Marketing Officer - Alan Johnson (He’s my Co-Founder but he’s running the Marketing Team for a year)
- Chief Commercial Officer - Chris Zabaleta
- Head of Design - Jeremy Jantz
- Head of Web Development - Tommy Morgan
- Head of Mobile Development - Marshall Huss
- Head of Treehouse Labs - Jim Hoskins
Managing eight people is about right. Probably a little on the high side for a CEO, but it’s a good structure for us right now.
- What are the top five things you’ve been working on the last two weeks?
- Do those match to the items you’re accountable for in the 90 Day Plan?
- What are you doing to advance the careers of the people you lead?
I use a Trello Board with a list for each person. Each 1-on-1 I ask them to pre-populate a card with those three items as lists. I’ve made an example public board for you to see.
Don’t manage People, manage Activities
I got the idea of this 1-on-1 meeting structure from Rod Rice, an all-star executive who I met recently. He was key in taking Bowflex from $2m in revenue to $600m. Not bad :)
Our leadership team is currently reading Mastering the Rockefeller Habits and I got the idea of managing activities, not people. No one wants to be ‘managed’. However, they do want to be guided on whether they’re working on the right thing, at the right time.
The 1-on-1 meeting structure above really focuses your Team on what actions they’re taking to advance the company’s goals. I’m not delegating things to my Leaders. I’m asking them what they’re doing to advance the goals of the company. They have freedom to attack our top priorities however they see fit, and then I hold them accountable to that.
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- iammorton said: I believe 100% in what you said Ryan. People don’t want to be managed. Good team members want to be inspired. Glad to see that Treehouse had good leadership that knows that.
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