Today, my business partner and former CEO, Sara Hicks, and myself, are thrilled to introduce our new venture: The Intentional Organization, a coaching practice and a forthcoming book. Learn about our story and what we’re building!
Every now and then a fellow founder approaches me looking for advice. The topics range from pricing, positioning products, to building and growing teams. Or in this case, they are questions about what to consider when you’re looking to go remote. A founder building a startup in Europe recently asked me for advice on building a remote team. I’ve been working in distributed teams for ten years now. Those teams have spanned from Europe to the US west coast. Sometimes they went beyond that, covering almost 24 hours of timezones.
During the first weeks in a new role, one of the things I’ve most recently focused on is to assess the direction of the engineering department as a whole. At the time I started there was no explicit strategy in place. Which is also not an unusual thing for a young company, just to be clear. So I set out to draft one.
One thing I wanted to a better job at as I took on a new role last year is to be more deliberate in giving feedback. As a German, I tend to fall on the side of only focusing on negative, or constructive feedback. I tend to focus on pointing out what I think should be improved, or what isn’t conclusive. This is quite ingrained in the German work culture.
Leaders who find themselves wondering why their teams aren’t making important decisions on their own tend to be leaders who are constantly pulled into many different discussions. Their calendars are filled to the brim, leaving little time for longer term work. This can seem like you’re contributing as a manager, like you’re doing important work and keeping yourself busy. It also means that you’ll have less time to focus on strategic work.