Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

Follow up with your followers!

Want to be a better leader?

The most common way of understanding leadership is to study successful leaders. The least common way is to study followers. You should be doing both.

I can’t tell you how many times leaders I’ve worked with said to me that the most valuable and powerful learning they had regarding their own leadership skills came from the people they led, together with insights from their peers and their own leader (supervisor). It’s called 360 degree feedback.

Problem is, 360 feedback is often an expensive process. But – it doesn’t have to be.

I recently worked with the senior leadership team of a non-profit organization, as part of a team of coaches working with about a dozen senior executives. As coaches, we wanted to “hit the ground running” with our individual clients, AND have real and compelling data to legitimatize the process. Rather than using a commercial 360 instrument (of which there are many valuable, valid products to choose from), we used Survey Monkey and had them get about ten people (subordinates, peers and boss) to provide anonymous, narrative responses to just three questions:

  1. What does this leader do well?
  2. What does this leader not do so well?
  3. What else would you like this leader to know about his/her leadership practice?

The respondents provided their answers on the internet, which were then sent to us. No one knew who said what because they weren’t asked for ANY demographic data.

The results? Each executive was given three to four pages of comments from the people who know them best – and in particular, those who report to them (their followers). With each of the people I subsequently coached, they saw some things that they already knew and believed to be true, and they had some eye-opening feedback about things that they either didn’t know, or didn’t realize was as important to the people around them.

We then began our coaching with real data and chose things to work on that would make an actual difference in their leadership practice.

Don’t limit your study of leadership to successful leaders. Learn to listen to followers too – in particular, YOUR followers, to take your skills to the next level.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is the sequel to the very popular “What Your Boss Never Told You.” Packed inside are more tips, techniques, and insights about the challenging, but rewarding leadership position.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is written in a conversational tone, as though you and the author were enjoying a cup of coffee and talking about the issues that emerge for new leaders. It stands alone, and/or could be read before or after the first volume, “What Your Boss Never Told You.” You can start with any chapter and read in any order you like.

if you search for a book on management, you’ll find a staggering 600,000+ books currently available. How can you narrow that down? “What Your Boss Never Told You” is the best place to start.

No textbook here – this book is short and sweet. It’s designed to help you “unpack” your new job and be effective from the first day with your new team. It contains twenty-one chapters filled with the wisdom Winters has gathered from real managers – effective, successful leaders in organizations much like yours.

Leaders make decisions every day – big and small. Most know that if they include others in the decision-making process, the quality of those decisions – and the commitment to them – will likely improve. That said, they also know it’s impractical, if not impossible, to include others in every decision they confront.

“To Do or Not To Do” tackles the question of when to make decisions on your own, and when to involve your team. It gives you a deceptively simple but proven method to determine, when you are facing a difficult decision, how to decide how to decide.

Far too many meetings are dreadful, mind-numbing, energy-draining, productivity-sapping, colossal wastes of time. As someone once said, “To kill time, a meeting is the perfect weapon.”

Here’s the deal: if you’re willing to learn and apply the techniques in “So, How Was Your Meeting?”, you’ll call fewer meetings, while vastly improving the ones you do lead. They’ll take less time, have more balanced participation, produce better decisions, and result in concrete action items for follow-up afterwards.

While there are thousands of books written for people about to retire, this may be the only book for people who manage soon-to-retire employees. Written in a casual, conversational style, “Managing the Soon To Retire Employee” will give you everything you need to know to move forward with confidence and grace.

You can be successful with Sooners. It won’t happen by chance, and it’s not a matter of pulling some management “trick” out of your hat. But you can learn how to do it, and you can apply what you’ve learned right away.

Managing friends or former peers can be awkward. When you become the boss, everything about these relationships can suddenly be uncomfortable. There’s a new set of ground rules to establish – as manager, you are going be accountable for the work performance of friends or former co-workers on the team, and they are going to have to adjust to the fact that they now report to you. Everyone involved can feel awkward and hesitant about the future. 

Have you been approached by management with an offer to promote you to supervision? Or, are you mulling over the possibility for the future? Find yourself not sure whether to accept the promotion?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Help! They Want to Make ME a Supervisor will help you sort out a very big question: Should you accept the offer to become a supervisor? Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be confident that you’ve made the best decision for you and for your organization.