The last week of any year is a great time to look back and reflect. It is powerful to ask yourself:
- What’s been my biggest accomplishment this year?
- What am I proud of the most?
- What’s a challenge I’ve worked to overcome during the past 12 months?
Knowing what you did well can help you know what to do more of in the future, and motivate you to tackle your next challenges.
With that in mind, we’ve done a lot of reflection here at Lighthouse as we close out this year. And one of our favorite moments of reflection is seeing what posts resonated most with readers like you.
Whether you are looking for new inspiration, ideas to revisit as the new year begins, or you missed one of our biggest hits, this list is for you.
Table of Contents: What Great Managers Read (and Listened to) Most in 2022
- The 8 Best Professional Development Goals for Managers
- 66 Awesome Skip Level Meeting Questions
- 4 Ted Lasso Leadership Lessons You Should Apply
- 6 Questions to Ask a CEO to Ensure Healthy Company Culture
- How to Find a Mentor You’ll Love to Transform Your Career
- Creating High Performing Teams: Season 1's Top Episodes
8 Best Professional Development Goals for Managers
Many of you stepped into new management roles in 2022. It’s an exciting change, but also one filled with challenges. Many of you weren’t given much training or guidance, and even well intentioned organizations may not be covering everything that you need to know to grow and succeed.
Unfortunately, with the challenges we’re all facing now economically, managers are facing higher stress levels while trying to figure this all out.
That’s why it’s no surprise this post was one of our most popular this year. Because whether you need a plan for what skills to build on your own, or you wanted a cheat sheet to know where to focus as you coach leaders reporting to you, this post is a perfect guide to help you. Read it now here.
66 Awesome Skip Level Meeting Questions
For any growing or already large organization, the skip level meeting is one of the best tools for a mid or senior level leader.
Connecting with people you otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to talk to often is a great opportunity to get a feel for what is happening on other teams and hear about any issues lower in your organization. You can also get crucial feedback on what you and the managers reporting to you can do to improve.
Not sure where to begin with meetings? You’re in luck.
In this post, we give you dozens of questions to ask in these meetings that will help you make the most of these valuable check ins. We cover everything from how to quickly build trust and rapport, to the best ways to get the valuable insights you need to make these meetings as valuable as they can be.
Hungry for more? Read the rest of our series on skip level meetings:
- Everything You Need to Know About Skip Level 1-on-1s
- How to Use Skip Level 1-on-1s to Improve Your Managers as a Senior Leader
4 Ted Lasso Leadership Lessons You Should Apply
With Season 1 released in 2021, Ted Lasso quickly became a fan favorite – and we count ourselves among them. (Just don’t ask us about our thoughts on S2 - we have an upcoming post all about that.)
The charming football-turned-soccer coach endeared himself to TV audiences with his positive attitude and willingness to help others. As we watched Ted navigate the cutthroat world of professional soccer and try to turn around a struggling team, we found that the show can teach us many important lessons on leadership.
This post talks about four of our biggest takeaways from Ted Lasso: from the importance of building rapport with everyone on your team, to the impact that showing your appreciation to people can have. We also included clips from the show to help illustrate the lessons, perfect for nostalgia you have for the show, or to help you understand the context if you haven’t seen the show. See what you can learn from Ted here.
6 Questions to Ask a CEO to Ensure Healthy Company Culture
In 2022, having a healthy and positive company culture was a major deciding factor for 40% of job applicants.
Yet, from the outside, or in an interview process, it’s not always easy to tell if a company is healthy and in a good place. You also may not know what the right questions to ask would be if you have a chance to nudge your CEO in the right direction.
That’s why we wrote this post, which helps whether you're an investor, advisor, founder– or you're just trying to impress your CEO. It will get you answers to the kinds of questions that are very revealing to the health of a company’s culture.
And of course, like any Lighthouse post, we point you in the right direction of how to address any shortcomings revealed in the answers.
The disruptions of 2020 and 2021 had a big impact on people’s work priorities, highlighting:
- The importance of having a better work-life balance,
- The significance of a more flexible schedule,
- And the value of better structural support from their employer.
With this in mind, many of you asked yourselves: Is *my* culture healthy? How can I know for sure?
To help you determine if your (or someone else’s) company is in a good place, we took a look at some of the most important questions you should ask about it – from turnover rates and problem-solving, to handling hierarchy and promotion pipelines. Do you know the answers to these 6 questions at your company?
How to Find a Mentor You’ll Love to Transform Your Career
Over the course of the last year, leadership and management training became the #1 priority of L&D programs – and mentorship played a big part in that.
Unfortunately, good mentors are hard to find both individually if you want one, and at scale across an organization.
They have to be a good match for you on multiple levels, starting with their personality and skill set to, of course, their actual availability. And even if you manage to find someone who you think would be a good mentor for you, you still have to know how to connect with them and build that relationship.
That’s exactly what we focus on in this post; we discuss where to look for a mentor, the 3 essential things to look for *in* mentors, and how to first approach them.
Whether you are trying to find someone for yourself, help a team member, or you’re in L&D looking to scale this, it’s no surprise this post was a popular read this year. Make plans in 2023 to get a new mentor with our help here.
Want more? You can also check out our other great posts on mentorship:
Creating High Performing Teams Podcast: Season 1
After 7 years of focusing on using the written word to teach you how to be a great manager, we decided to try a different format – we started a podcast!
Starting in January, and running 21 episodes, we launched the Creating High Performing Teams podcast.
On the show we featured a mix of 12 awesome guests in 5 different countries talking candidly and practically about being a good leader. We also had a series of bite-size, solo episodes featuring our founder and CEO Jason Evanish giving you helpful tips.
On these shows, we tackled key topics including managing up, foundational management skills, step by step how to give effective feedback, and many more. You can listen to them now, and subscribe to catch season 2 on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Stitcher.
Haven’t had a chance to give us a listen yet? Here are three episodes that resonated with managers like you most:
1. How to become a better manager in just 15 minutes a week
This episode features polish manager Krzysztof Rakowski, a senior leader at one of the largest IT organizations in Europe (as well as one of the hosts of the Nerd Management podcast).
On the episode, we talk about the many ways he has invested in the growth of managers on his team, and what worked best (and worst) of those approaches.
Not surprisingly, one of the key approaches was how he used Lighthouse Lessons with a group of managers to help them grow.
He shared how the programs fit into the bigger picture of his goals to develop leaders, as well as a number of great war stories that show how good training for your leaders is just one part of building a healthy culture.
Reminder: We offer Lighthouse Lessons as both courses designed for individual managers, and for groups of managers to take the program and learn together.
2. The Most Important Skills for Managers to Master
What skills do you need to become a great leader? It’s a key question that every manager asks themselves. It’s also a popular topic from our list of top blog posts this year.
That’s why it’s not surprising that it was one of our top podcast episodes.
Not only will you learn the skills to master, but Jason shares a number of interesting stories that can help make these concepts feel more real to you.
3. Lessons on 1 on 1s from Our Expert Guests
The final show of the season picked out all the great advice about 1 on 1s given by our guests throughout the season; we took excerpts from our discussions to show how versatile 1 on 1s can really be.
While we never intended for the series to be focused exclusively on 1 on 1, it’s no surprise that this valuable, multi-purpose tool was used in so many different situations we spoke with our guests about.
You can learn how to drive as much value as possible from your one-on-ones with this bundle of great advice by great leaders including Fabian Carmago, Wes Kao, and Jeremy Brown:
What was your favorite post in 2022? What do you want to learn about in 2023?
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