Part II of “As a leader, what have you left unsaid?”

This post is by Giff Constable from

Last week, I wrote about the importance of communication as a leader. I gave some examples where I did a less-than-stellar job and left things unsaid. This week, I’ll give three examples where things went well.

“This is going to suck”

When I arrived at Meetup as CPO, the product management team had about a dozen people. The team had been feeling beaten up and morale was low. Not long after, my VP left to take a great job opportunity. All of the PMs were suddenly reporting direclty to me.

I’m a believer that a manager can’t have much more than 7 direct reports. Eleven PMs was too many for me to handle (thankfully I had a great VP of Design to handle that side of the house). So when I pulled the team together to announce the VP’s departure, I said to them, “We’re starting the search for our next VP immediately. In the meantime, I admit that this is going to suck. There’s no way that I can be as good a manager to you as either of us want. Not with this many people. But here’s what we can do about it…”

By not pretending that everything was going to be fine, I was able have a conversation with them about how they could help me, how they could help me help them, and more.

One of the benefits of getting older is you gain confidence in your abilities, you accept your own fallibility, and you learn (Read more...)