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How to power your team through year-end and plan for 2023

Competing priorities, post-pandemic stress, and defining the “new normal” has put everyone’s calendars into a tailspin — drowning in meetings while we try to stay in touch with a sprawling, hybrid workforce.

  • Why it matters: “Oftentimes meetings are not work,” says Olive Ventures General Partner Joel Chakra. That makes it a leader’s job to ensure teams have both the context they need to be productive and the time to do what you’ve asked of them.

The big picture: That puts even more pressure on these final months of 2022 — when leaders must re-energize a workforce to end the year strong, remain ambitious through 2023 planning, but revise their communication strategies so everyone can ease their sense of overwhelm.

Uber’s Chief of Staff to the Chief Legal Officer Jodi Kawada Page joined Joel to share a few ways they’re doing it:

  1. Have a clear vision. Then focus on gathering data that gives you insight into what's happening with customers, teams, products. You can’t find the tactics to reach your vision without data.

  2. Empower your teams. Have the right teams working on the right problems. Share larger goals and desired outcomes, but give autonomy to your teams to figure out "how" they get there.

  3. End unnecessary meetings. Have pre-reads — so people can decide if a meeting is worth their time, and so those who do convene can come to a decision, rather than spend 20 minutes getting on the same page.

  4. Embrace sprint planning. Once goals are clear and time is free, teams can achieve a lot in a week or two. Google’s Design Sprint method is just one approach, but it can work for orgs of all sizes.

  5. Make time for individuals. Know what your people are doing daily and how you can give them feedback. It helps them really feel what they’re doing is super important to your bigger vision.

  6. Celebrate the wins. “Big or small, as long as they're meaningful. You can get distracted by a lot of things, but focusing on winning is really good for the morale of the team and its individuals.”

The winning mix: Think like a team, act like a community, communicate at every step — but find the rhythm that’s authentic to your organization. It’ll keep your mission alive, culture strong, and people connected.

Go deeper: Hear more from Uber and Olive Ventures about leading a team through tough times.