Hi all,

The o3 podcasts contain a bit of ambiguity on this point. I'm the newly appointed manager for a team of 12 with three team leads.

Based on the very first o3 podcast I assumed that the goal was to meet with the entire team of 12.

But then a similar question was asked in the Q&A podcast, and I felt that the guidance was to meet only with the three leads, and have them schedule o3s with their team members.

Which approach do you recommend?


ashdenver's picture

I think it would depend on the depth and breadth of the Team Lead role at your organization.

Where I work, the Team Lead essentially just means that they share info that comes along, help in a tech-support kind of role, mentor, etc. But they're essentially "one of the team" with maybe a bit more workload and/or responsibility. If your folks are like that, I'd say schedule with the whold gang of twelve.

If your Team Leads are more like Supervisors and you generally funnel information, processes, etc. through those Team Leads with less interaction among the other 9 folks, then I'd aim for O3's with just the Leads.

... just my $0.02 ...

jhack's picture

Follow the money. The person who does the annual review (and either decides or recommends salary and bonus) is the person who does the O3's.

John Hack

RobRedmond's picture

I agree with Mr. Hack, as always. The person who does the annual review should do the O3's. And the person who does the supervising and is tasked with delivering feedback and is held accountable for the other person's performance should be allowed to do the annual review.

So, the deeper question is how much do you allow your leads to lead? Do you allow them to manage - to hire, fire, give feedback, etc? If so, then they _need_ the O3's.

Do you reserve all of this for yourself and only use the leads as "go to" people for questions while all management responsibility and authority resides only at your desk? Then you have them.

Here's the bigger question, though. Why would you reserve all management function for yourself? I recommend not doing that. Turn your leads into managers and give them everything as fast as they can take it. Delegate to them, and get them responsible as far as you can.

Grow your people. If you get hit by a bus tomorrow morning, one of them must be able to plug right into your job with no learning curve.

-Rob Redmond

ashdenver's picture

Rob, I agree with what you say about bringing your people up to speed so that they could ostensibly be qualified to step into your shoes. Why, then, are SO MANY managers petrified of this concept? They get territorial and possessive about their role, function, duties, thought processes, etc.

On one level, I'm sure there's a level of insecurity at play -- "Oh, if my DR does a better job at this than me, my own boss will fire me and stick the DR in my slot." They don't want to grow themselves out of a job and I get that.

But by the same token, if the entire functionality of the group or department or division hinges on the manager's presence and brain, how on earth is that person ever expecting to be promoted into something else when the spoken or unspoken edict is that the group/dept/div would fall apart without them at the helm?!

Is there something in this equation that I'm missing? Is it really as simple as plain old insecurity & fear?

(Sorry to nondescrypt for going slightly off-topic on this!)

RobRedmond's picture

That is part of it.

Another factor is that many managers, having brought up a direct to be their equal, are now so dependent upon them that they are terrified of their direct going elsewhere and leaving them exposed as a fraud. Many managers believe they are frauds (all?), and that someday someone will find them out for the fraud they are. Some believe their top performer creates the illusion of competence and that the dirct's leaving will remove it - exposing the top performer as being the one who is truly talented and the manager as a faker.

I think people who feel that way do not understand management... nor politics, for that matter.

-Rob Redmond