Skip-level meetings

Hierarchies serve a purpose. No one should have 150 direct reports. When an organization reaches a certain size, layers of management become useful.

These layers can also become barriers. The more layers, the thinner your personal relationship with colleagues, and the less likely you are to hear about the challenges they face, way down on the front lines. If you believe in servant leadership, that’s a problem.

A way to mitigate this problem is to hold skip-level meetings. As many as possible, as far down the ladder as possible. These meetings need not be lengthy. If scheduled in advance, your colleagues will arrive prepared to share their concerns. But only if they trust you, that is.

A good topic for another day.

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