I was listening to an interview with Tony Fadell. If you don’t know the name, I’m sure you’ll know some of the work that is done. He created the first 18 generations of the iPod in the first three generations of the iPhone. From there, he found it Labs and served as its CEO until his resignation in 2016.

Tony is not a born manager or leader; he was very much a geek, yet he step into roles where you had to manage and lead people. He described how people would approach him when there were disagreements between them and a colleague. Invariably, each party to the disagreement we try to enlist support within the group that they were right. Then they would go to him to make the decision.

His thought, like mine, is to initially send people away to discuss it with one another and see if they can come up with the decision. It’s tempting to solve the problem for people but it doesn’t help them learn and grow.

When disagreements occur as the invariably will between smart people who believe they are always right, encourage them to talk to one another and see if they can come to an initial resolution.

“If you come back to me, I’m confident neither of you will be happy with the decision I make,” you can advise them. “Work it out.”

The more senior people become, the more necessary it is to work out disagreements. Sending them off to figure it out on their own helps and develop the skill that will serve them in the future.


Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2019



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1600 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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