IN
CHORUS
March 15, 2021
How I built a
management ladder

Following the success of our engineering career ladder we recently announced a similar progression for people leaders at Poll Everywhere. I’ve organized my thoughts on this work into a step-by-step guide so you can define a Management ladder for your team.

Note: This article is cross-posted from Poll Everywhere’s blog. This past month at Poll Everywhere, we rolled out a career in management progression. The approach mirrored that of our engineering career ladder. However, the larger scope required close collaboration with our People Operations (People Ops) team and consensus building across a broad audience. After establishing levels for our Individual Contributor (IC) engineers, managers on the team found themselves in limbo. When it came tim...

October 29, 2020
How I built an
engineering ladder

Around a year and a half ago, we rolled out a career progression for Poll Everywhere engineers. I’ve organized my reflections about this work into a step-by-step guide to define an Individual Contributor ladder for your engineering team.

Note: This article is cross-posted from Poll Everywhere’s blog. Around a year and a half ago, we rolled out a career progression for Poll Everywhere engineers. I’ve organized my reflections about this work into a step-by-step guide to define an Individual Contributor ladder for your engineering team. Poll Everywhere was founded in 2007 by three engineers with consulting backgrounds. Our Engineering team didn’t put this progression in place until 2018. 11 years is a long time to go without f...

June 11, 2020
How to get great
360° feedback

360° feedback, when done right, leads to some of the most eye-opening insights for self-reflection and personal growth. This process is different than individual feedback and there are subtle ways it can go wrong. In this article, I’ll break down how you can run great 360° feedback for your team.

360° feedback, when done right, leads to some of the most eye-opening insights for self-reflection and personal growth. This process is different than individual feedback and there are subtle ways it can go wrong. In this article, I’ll break down how you can run great 360° feedback for your team. Terminology I’ve found 360° feedback most effective with a three-party system. The first is the person requesting feedback (requestor). The second is a group of people providing feedback. The thir...

March 08, 2020
Leadership
Level 5 – Pinnacle

There is a huge range of skill when it comes to leadership. John C. Maxwell lays out five points of reference for your leadership and skills to practice at each level to advance. In this short series of articles I’ve summarized the concepts and my key take-aways from the book.

Level 5 is the highest level of leadership. These people are all industry leaders like Lee Iacocca, Jack Welsch, and Steve Jobs. It’s hard to get here and once you’ve achieved this level there’s no guarantee you’ll stay. The reach and impact you have at this level is unparalleled. Positives Leading at this level fundamentally transforms an organization and leaves a legacy long after you’ve left. You have an opportunity to make a lasting impact on a very large group of people. Negatives It’s...

March 07, 2020
Leadership 

Level 4 – People

There is a huge range of skill when it comes to leadership. John C. Maxwell lays out five points of reference for your leadership and skills to practice at each level to advance. In this short series of articles I’ve summarized the concepts and my key take-aways from the book.

People that get to level 4 leadership can see beyond the short-term gains of getting things done as a team. When you develop your team into great leaders there is a force multiplying effect and the impact is far greater than the impact you could have as an individual. Positives Most leaders don’t get here. Often they’ll cap out at production. The force multiplying effect of developing your team is much higher than a single person’s output. Developing strong leaders at the company sets it up...

March 06, 2020
Leadership
Level 3 – Production

There is a huge range of skill when it comes to leadership. John C. Maxwell lays out five points of reference for your leadership and skills to practice at each level to advance. In this short series of articles I’ve summarized the concepts and my key take-aways from the book.

Production is where you can start building great momentum with your team. Starting with small wins you build up your credibility and reinvest in the team. Working on a team with a level 3 leader feels rewarding and is highly motivating. Positives Being productive attracts other productive people. There’s a mutual respect when people get things done together. With each successful project, you gain credibility. Lead by example to make the vision you’ve been setting for the team more concrete ...

March 05, 2020
Leadership
Level 2 – Permission

There is a huge range of skill when it comes to leadership. John C. Maxwell lays out five points of reference for your leadership and skills to practice at each level to advance. In this short series of articles I’ve summarized the concepts and my key take-aways from the book.

Leading by permission is all about building strong relationships. Once that is established, people shift from being managed by you because you have the job title to being lead by you because they trust that you have their best interests at heart. Positives Leading by permission can alter the team’s attitude from begrudging subordinates following orders to enthusiastic followers working toward shared goals. Leading at the permission level is about serving your team and building strong relati...

March 04, 2020
Leadership
Level 1 – Position

There is a huge range of skill when it comes to leadership. John C. Maxwell lays out five points of reference for your leadership and skills to practice at each level to advance. In this short series of articles I’ve summarized the concepts and my key take-aways from the book.

Position is the lowest level of leadership. It’s associated with reliance on job title and hierarchy to motivate your team and is the least effective of the five levels. Positives Typically you are promoted into leadership because of a recognized potential. Leadership at the position level is an opportunity to grow and run great teams. What you do with your potential is up to you. Negatives Title alone doesn’t define a leader. Actions define leaders. Invoking your title hurts your leadersh...

March 03, 2020
The Five Levels
of Leadership

There is a huge range of skill when it comes to leadership. John C. Maxwell lays out five points of reference for your leadership and skills to practice at each level to advance. In this short series of articles I’ve summarized the concepts and my key take-aways from the book.

A manager on my team recently suggested The Five Levels of Leadership as her favorite leadership book. One of the tenets of this book is that you have a different level of leadership with each person you lead. Your poorest relationship defines what type of leader you are overall, even if you exhibit more advanced traits with others. I’ve found these concepts helpful as I think about improving my leadership with my teammates. In this set of articles, I’ll walk through each of the levels, sum...

January 12, 2020
How I started
skip level 1:1s

Skip level one on ones are a great way to connect with team members that you don’t get a chance to work with often. I’ve had a hard time setting aside time to schedule these, so I’ve written up a guide to make it simple.

Recently I set up 12 recurring one on ones for the people that are managed by the managers I’m responsible for. I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time and kept putting it off. It was one of those things I couldn't muster the activation energy to start. Last Friday I finally set aside the time to do some research. There’s a ton of advice about the best way to do this and even huge libraries of all the questions you could or should ask. A big thanks to Know Your Team whose guide I adapt...