These four tips have helped Microsoft manager Josh Ledgard move on down the road to leadership:
Ignore your e-mail. You could spend hours a day dealing with e-mail, turning into a drone without time to accomplish anything worthwhile. So, Ledgard keeps “e-mail hours” from 8 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 5 p.m. That’s it.
If a matter is important, he notes, your people will hoof it to your office.
Manage your bosses. Give them regular feedback. Examples: What changes in processes, tools or systems do you and your people need to be more productive? Your bosses will get them. What are you best at? They’ll help you do more of it. What are your key strengths? Do you use them regularly?
Ignore artificial boundaries. Disciplines and teams are arbitrary. You need to know what your allied teams are doing with your products, and what they need from your people. You’re there to help them win so that you can win.
Learn their schedules, clients, goals and priorities. You’ll get pushback when you cross boundaries, but no boundary is as important as satisfying customers.
Do something great that no one asked you to do. Sometimes, you’ll look around and realize that nobody’s going to step up to the plate. That means it’s leadership time.
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