Here’s a powerful framework that can help you lead your team to greatness.

Part One: The Setup

1) Get clear on what matters most to you, your team, your customers and the organization you are part of. If you’re unsure: listen, ask and observe.

2) Make the results visible â€” there are many ways including regular customer interactions, all sorts of reports and dashboards, converations, mini-documentaries, boards, props, and more.

3) Make the actions and interactions visible â€” invite people to observe your meetings, record presentations, make automated transcripts, save chat and email archives, archive commits and code review comments, exchange ideas in a team wiki or a even a bunch of shared google docs.

You don’t have to capture EVERYTHING right away (or ever); start with 2-3 most important results and 2-3 most important interaction channels.

Part Two: The Loop

Repeat the following loop. Upgrade it to higher levels when you can.

Level 1: Plan, Do, Reflect

Plan, Do, Reflect

Plan

Clarify outcomes and actions

If you’re aiming for a far away outcome, focus on the first step

Do

Do what you can, with what you’ve got, every day. No excuses! *

Reflect

I like using the following questions:

  1. What’s working well?
  2. What’s not working well?
  3. What would (likely) work better?

Focus on things you can control more than the things you can’t.

When reflecting always start with what’s good and look for ways to turn it up: repeat, reuse and amplify it. If you can’t find the good you’re better off not wasting time listing defects.

For bonus points: bring data.

Level 2: Learn & Share

At this level add additional learning and inspiration (on top of the results of your regular reflections).

Whenever you learn something (from outside of from your own reflections): get into the habit of sharing the key bits as fast as possible. Write a blog post, give a presentation, at the very least explain it to someone in a conversation.

This will help you solidify your own knowledge, find gaps you didn’t know were there and maybe learn something from the other party in return.

Regular internal meetups, dojos, action learning circles and the like can be useful for this.

Add learning and sharing

Level 3: Expert Feedback

If the first two loops are humming along smoothly you are ready to turbo charge the process by getting targeted feedback on each important part of your process.

Get that feedback from the best possible source for each element — that includes the person on your team who’s the best available expert at some particular discipline, veterans in other parts of the org or people you bring from outside for this specific purpose. 

Add targeted feedback

That’s it

Three preparation steps.

Three steps in the main loop.

Two loop upgrades.

Simple.

See you in 10000 hours ;)

Thanks to Justyna Pindel for the “do what you can” quote.
** Great team photo by Tobias Mrzyk via Unsplash