“Form great habits and become their slaves”

-Tony Robbins 

Following a daily routine in how you manage can make or break you as a manager. The role of a manager is a very demanding role but yet very rewarding. You can make a direct impact on the culture of your organization and of the lives that you lead.

The following is a video produced the Katie Bennet and the team at Jhana.com that I wanted to share because it is important for front line leaders to know what habits are important to keep and what habits can go. The following is my input on the “10 Daily Habits of Highly Effective Managers”.

Loren Mooney (VP Product) is managing the conversation, Katie Bennet (VP Client Success) is the producer, and I believe Shohan is the Manager who is providing the input. Great job for the two that are having the conversation.

Here are some of the habits discussed in the video.

Habit: 1×1 Feedback

1×1’s are an important part of what you should do as a manager. One of the reasons why is because it keeps you out of the HR office. Let’s be honest, employees will through you under the bus when asked about if you are having 1×1’s or not. The other reason is you want to establish a consistent relationship with your employee. You are the face of the company to that employee and it is important they see your face on a regular basis.

Loren does mention a couple good points ensuring that an agenda is prepared in advance and that all parties should have the agenda prior to the meeting. This allows for the employees and the manager to prepare for the conversation. Great point about not canceling the meeting!

My take: The purpose of the 1×1 is to create alignment. Does the employee see the same vision as you do as a manager? It is important that expectations and ownership of the 1×1 are discussions. You do not want to carry their water. Once you do that, you create that expectation that you own the 1×1.  It is important that you document the conversation either by a follow email or a shared folder.

Tips: The conversations in the 1×1 should not be a surprise. It should be an extension of the feedback or conversations that you have had in the field. In addition, performance should be part of the 1×1 because if the employee is not meeting the basic expectations any other conversations should be void. The employee must meet those basic expectations first, then let’s talk about all other things.

The question asked: “What if  the team member is not sharing information?”

If your employee is not sharing information in your 1×1’s then a couple of things are happening. Did the employee understand his/her role of the 1×1 (ownership)? Did the employee understand the expectations of the 1×1 (ownership)? If the employee does not have anything to share, then there could other issues at stake. It could be those action items with time lines were not discussed in the previous 1×1. Whatever it is, find the root cause and fix it before the employee becomes completely disengaged.

Habit: Proactively Manage up

Your boss has to see what you doing. He/she has to know that your actions are delivering results to the organizations. Part of managing up is showing or telling your boss that you are meeting the basic expectations of the role and doing more. This is not “brown nosing” or anything like that. It is keeping your boss informed of your progress because at the end day, you are ranked against your peers. Being remembered helps.

Loren highlights to learn your boss’s goals, priorities, and communication and then cater to those. It is important to know all those things about your boss and it will keep you aligned.

My take: Your bosses habits should mimic your habits but at a strategic level. What I mean is that it should not be difficult to schedule 15-30 minutes with your boss in the early part of the day to review the plan.

Tips: Schedule either a Daily Review Meeting or Dailyly Performance meeting with your boss. Keep the agenda tight with Plan VS. Actual, barriers, and other for yesterday (performance) and today (plan). This will keep the conversation focused and to the point.

A question was asked, ” What if your manager is too friendly?”

Shohan does a good job in describing how a manager should provide some expectations and what some guidance on what to learn. Also, if a manager is becoming too friendly it is O.K. to draw the line. I would suggest keeping the conversation private and it should be part of you giving that manager some feedback. The manager will appreciate it.

Habit: Giving feedback

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions”

The only way a person will know if they are doing something good or bad is the feedback you provide. What you want to achieve is balance. It important for employees to know that you will provide feedback, both good and bad at some point. And they should know that some feedback will sting but necessary.

My take: I would not place a quota on feedback provided to employees rather focus on quality and not quantity. Here is what happens when you focus on quantity and I have seen this before. The manager feels pressured because 1 piece of feedback needs to be provided by the end of the day. The manager scrambles to find something random and then provides the feedback. Guess what? The employee can see right through that! IMPORTANT—LISTEN CAREFULLY– One of your habits should be to follow-up consistently throughout the day. If you are executing your role effectively and managing by the numbers, then feedback should be provided daily to modify a specific behavior by using data. Feedback cannot be random or pulled out of a hat (unless you know magic). If you do not have feedback don’ t make it up. One other tip, carry a notepad with you when providing feedback. It important that you write down the feedback and actions in front of your employee. This is a psychological tactic that you can use a manager. They see you write it down and chances are you will remember that action and come back to the employee.

A question was asked: “What happens when your team members feel you are micro managing because you are giving constant feedback?”

I was coaching an Engineering manager on conducting an effective follow-up tour with this team. The team consisted of 8 highly intelligent engineers building rockets. As the manager followed up with the progress of the plan for the day, one of the engineers said: “Why are you micromanaging us?” So, the engineering manager stopped the follow-up tour because he felt as if the employee was right. The coaching for the engineering manager was to know the difference between a Micro Manager and an Effective Manager. We both sat down and watched a coaching video and decided to educate any employee who challenged the follow-up tour. The next follow-up tour the same employee challenged the manager but in this instance, the manager educated the employee about the difference of both. After this, no employee challenged the manager on the follow-up tour.

Employees don’t really know the difference between a Micro Manager and an Effective Manager. If challenged, educate and confront the challenge.

Habit: Initiate tough conversations

“Progress is measured by how many uncomfortable conversations you have” – Tim Ferris

Having conversations that sting is part of moving the business forward. There was a manager I was coaching in the textile/laundry industry in which she was doing very well. However, she kept her blinders on the performance of certain supervisors. I knew that fact going into the initial meeting to build our client relationship and I informed her that some conversations that we have will sting. I did not bring up the lack of performance by the supervisor but later in the week, I reminded her of our conversation expectations in which I brought up the performance of the supervisor. She did not like it but she knew the expectations of our conversation parameter. In the end, she saw the issue and acted on it. Good for her.

My take: Any conversation that you have that you think is a tough conversation should not be a surprise to the employee. They should already know or suspect that a conversation is coming. If it is a surprise, then you are not following the above habits. Also, fear is the most detrimental form of lost time in any organization. It causes managers not to act in a timely manner thus causing a delay in the ROI of the employee.

Tips: If you know that an employee will go on the deep end during this conversation (we all have one), then being prepared is CRITICAL. Here is what you can do to be prepared:

  • Create an agenda. Limit the topics to only a few on the one.
  • Gather the data to support your conversation. They cannot argue data just stick to the facts.
  • Role play the conversation with a peer. It is important you do not go off topic and stick to one single topic.
  • Give HR and your boss a heads up of the conversation and provide a copy of the agenda and data. HR and your boss CANNOT be blind sided. This is part of managing up.


I am glad to that the team at Jhana.com are focused on helping managers become better at what they do. The US economy loses about $319 billion annual because managers are not engaged. We all have seen this and maybe we were part of the problem. If you are reading this and viewed the video, then you are or are becoming the solution. That is what we need. Our focus at Management Academy is to rid bad bosses in organizations by installing a process of accountability. Bad Bosses cannot live in this environment. Thank you for ready and please share.

Also, I would have titled the video “10 Daily Habits of Highly Engaged Managers”. Effectiveness has a connotation of producing a result. These habits are focused on engaging with the culture.

What other habits would you include?



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