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Letters to a Young Manager

Advising the CEO, #387

Please note that this letter is in-process; the following are my notes

Dear Sophie,
Every once in a while you may get called into the CEO's office. It may be just after a new promotion, or when you are leaving the organization.


He asked for feedback.  I said three things:
  1. Pay attention to the number of questions at staff meetings as a leading indicator of openness, trust [He mentioned the many 1:1 meetings]
  2. Ask what special things you are doing for your MVPs that make them want to stay and feel special; little things like seminars, workshops, field work (Jack Welch quote that "your job is to field the best possible team"; who are your top 20% that you are loving-to-death)
  3. Know who will tell you the truth and seek them out often.  (Story of the Chairman to the CEO: "welcome to the first day of no one telling you the truth")

He was impressed about the range of things we talked about with no mention of technology.
I cited the three "Chiefs" of the CIO role, which resonated: Chief Translator, Amplifier, Connector

Best regards,



The focus is not technology, but rather leadership

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