I started my 1-on-1 call after writing this article In Practice; I knew that this was the most critical and high leverage task of my day. I planned my meeting for the entire month and kept the calls on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The reason was it was the first meeting of my day. So 30 minutes before I started my day. I had to be ready to start my day with a video call. My wife told me, why do you want to spoil the day of your team by inviting them to the 1-on-1 at the start of their day.
I was like as a budding leader, and the learning I had about culture, open communication, empathy, understanding and knowledge work. I should be able to conduct a meeting with the purpose of solving their problem and creating a successful road map to achieve their career goals. It was my responsibility to build the team with a collective goal and make sure we create a win, win, win situation from the client, the team and the company, respectively.
I took this as a challenge and made sure that the call would strictly follow the rule of me more listening. It’s a challenging task to do for me. I thought, let me treat it as a school to learn about the reality of my company. I will see the data and information as they are presented to it. I will share the vision of the company and explain why I believe the culture will help us to meet that vision. With this intention, I went to work.
The most surprising part was during my 1-one-1 days, I woke early on my own. It’s like my body clock knows that today is an important day. Am I excited about the meetings? Yes, because each one gives me a lot of learning. Our culture has an emphasis on learning, and my friends have called me a lifelong learner. It has not only added to the profits of our company but also to the way team is learning from each other’s insights. I will continue this practice for the rest of the time I run any business.
Good article, Vikram. I wonder, whether your team members appreciated this idea of early morning video calls.
Yes, Sumeet. Interestingly they do. Its only once a month for 30 mins. I don’t go into the call with any expectations or intention of creating a transaction out of them. I go with the intent of listening them. They share all their problems without any inhibition. In most cases I accept the shortcomings and asks some time to think of a solution. In some cases I provide new information or find some quick fixes. Unless that don’t feel they are heard how can I expect them to live the culture we are trying to build. Some principles of the culture will be out in tommorow’s post. You ask me this same question 4 months from now. Let see what response they have. For now this has been my single most best investment for the team.