The remote work is here to stay and it requires such a significant change in the way we manage work and lead people that very few companies can do it truly well. The hybrid model, though challenging in itself, is a good intermediate step that will allow companies, managers, and workers to adjust step by step.
Each of us is most easily persuaded by ourselves. Listen first. Don’t overwhelm others with data. When you speak, ask lots of questions. Provide trustworthy information, and that means introducing nuance and explain that not everything is rosy.
Standing up to bullies is a risky proposition. However, that doesn’t change the fact that standing up to bullies is a moral responsibility of every leader and, in fact, of every decent human being. In the end, life is too short to spend it around jerks and bullies.
Don’t get seduced by the worship of personality. It is a mistake to latch on only one person, and say that they are the reason behind the success. You may miss all the other factors that played a role and learn the wrong lessons.
Leadership takes effort. When you abdicate your leadership responsibility, you may end up with a myriad of policies and processes that no one understands and follows. Stop solving your people’s problems by creating more and more processes, policies, and reports. Focus on providing leadership and support instead.
When you work with people from cultural background, go slow, listen, ask questions, make no assumptions, and try hard to understand. You may realize that your ways would lead to disaster. Having the humility and mental flexibility to see the world through the eyes of others and adjusting your behavior accordingly is the skill you want to cultivate.
To build a genuinely meritocratic system, it is not enough to claim the value of meritocracy. You need to design processes and policies in a way that limits the opportunity for biases and prejudices to come into play, and that often means relying more on algorithms, transparency, and accountability and less on managerial discretion.
Most of the bias in an organization doesn’t spur form bigotry, racism, or outgroup derogation. It is merely a convenience that is at fault. We prioritize what is comfortable, what is known, and therefore we favor those in our in-group.