The Five Weekly Rituals Every Leader Should Master
The Owl and The Beetle: Thursday Memo
Leadership is not just about giving orders. It's about creating a culture that encourages success. One of the best ways to do this is by implementing rituals.
This essay explores five weekly rituals that every leader should implement for successful leadership:
Status updates for accountability 📊
One-on-ones for individual performance management and people’s well-being 👥
All-hands meetings or town-hall sessions for transparency 🗣️
Retrospectives for process improvement 📈
Celebrations for boosting motivation and appreciation 🎉
These rituals promote accountability, transparency, continuous improvement, and positive work culture.
Dive in to learn more about each ritual and how to implement them! 💡
Let’s see them a little more in-depth:
1. Status Updates for Accountability
Status updates are a simple yet effective way to keep everyone on track. By sharing what each team member is working on, we can ensure everyone is responsible for their tasks. This ritual promotes accountability and helps identify any potential roadblocks early on.
An asynchronous status update may happen through a weekly recap of the project management boards, via internal blogging, or, more traditionally, using recap emails.
As a director of a large distributed company, I was following this process, which was fully asynchronous and based on internal blogging:
Every week, all the team members posted a memo on the internal team board, including the top 3 tasks they completed, 3 other tasks they worked on, and, optionally, 3 personal items they wanted to share with the team.
Every second week, every team lead condensed all the personal updates and published a team update to recap everything that happened that fortnight.
Every organizational structure above followed the same principle at fortnightly frequency, surfacing the status updates from the bottom of the organization to the very top.
Most dialogue regarding status updates was conducted in written form in the comment section of every posting. This eliminated the necessity of discussing status updates verbally during team meetings and one-on-one conversations.
It was unfrequent, yet possible, to have conflicts arising from such a level of transparency and accountability. For more insights on resolving team confrontations, check out this guide:
2. One-on-Ones for Individual Performance Management and People's Wellbeing
One-on-one meetings are a powerful tool for managing individual performance and ensuring people's well-being. These meetings provide a safe space for team members to share their concerns, discuss their goals, and receive personalized feedback.
Regular one-on-ones can lead to improved job satisfaction and overall happiness.
A few general principles for great one-on-ones are:
Ensure the consistent scheduling of these meetings.
Maintain complete engagement and concentration during the entire discourse.
Promote questions, and make sure to answer them thoroughly and patiently.
If you want to learn more about the power of one-on-one meetings, Paolo Belcastro, my manager, and mentor for many years, recently published a masterpiece article on the matter. If you happen to run one-on-one meetings, you cannot miss it.
3. All-Hands Meetings or Town Hall Sessions for Transparency
All-hand meetings or Town Hall sessions are a great way to promote organizational transparency. These meetings allow team members to ask questions, share ideas, and discuss topics openly.
They can help foster a culture of openness and mutual respect.
An all-hands meeting, sometimes called “Town Hall,” is an excellent opportunity to discuss topics such as:
Highlights: These events typically begin with a brief overview of the highlights from the previous business cycle. It’s a good idea to include photographs of team members engaging in lighthearted activities, any significant events such as introducing a new initiative or product, and any joyful, memorable moments the team has shared recently.
Key Metrics: All-hand meetings allow sharing of critical figures with the whole organization. This practice makes sure everyone is on the same page regarding the business.
Impact: People may lose sight of your organization’s impact on the surrounding community, and it becomes crucial to encourage the team to take a moment to reflect and commend themselves for their daily contributions towards improving the world.