Farai with a bushy beard, smiling

High output. And a high quality work-life.

2 min read reading time

Peace, People Manager (a.k.a. Professional People Person),

Each week I have hour-long 1:1 meetings with Every1 who reports to me. How do you schedule your 1:1s? Hit reply, let me know.

Have you heard of Andy Grove? He was employee number 3 and long-time CEO at Intel. We have him to thank (or not) for OKRs. Not to mention the computer chips.

Andy wrote High Output Management, a bestseller and favorite among tech heavies like Bob. In it, he popularised the idea of 1:1 meetings.

"Ninety minutes of your time can enhance the quality of your subordinate's work for two weeks.”

Invest the right amount of time into your team so that you can get more out of your team. It sense makes. It also reeks of outdated industrial workplace vibes.

Yep, it matters that Every1 on your team performs at their highest potential. Their output will propel the team, the product, the company to succeed. Everyone wins. I for one, am here for all the "W"'s

This makes you, People Manager, accountable for getting high output from your team. And the company expects you to deliver. If you don't, the company will hold you to account, and you can expect sucktastic conversations to come your way. I have no beef with that.

It does bug me though, that Grove leaves out what we need to do to meet the needs of the people who report to us. If a 1:1 is for their benefit, it must encompass more than what they need to increase output.

What do these needs look like? Check out Paloma Medina's BICEPS modelof peoples' needs.

Belonging Improvement Choice Equality Predictability Significance

We, the People Managers, are accountable for the quality of work-life experience of the people on our teams. We share responsibility (with them) for their career progress. Every1 who reports to us expects us to deliver on this (even if they don’t say it out loud).

If we don’t deliver, our team members will hold us to account and it won’t be fun for anyone.

People won't leave because their manager didn’t get them to operate at their peak performance. People will leave because their manager failed to help them build a great work-life experience. They’ll leave because their manager didn't support them in making meaningful career progress.

Let’s build on Andy’s idea 👇🏾

"Ninety minutes* of your time can enhance the quality of work-life experience and performance of your subordinate's Every1 who reports to you work for two weeks.”

Our job is to work with Every1 who reports to us to remove impediments and co-create the conditions for optimum on-the-job performance, optimum work-life experience, and optimum career progress.

The 1:1 meeting is that place to do the work. Let's do it.


P.S. I don't have 90 minute 1:1's every 2 weeks. I wish I could. I default to 60 minutes a week. I'll grudgingly accept 30 minutes. No less. How long and how often do you do your 1:1s? Hit reply, let me know.

More articles


Get in touch to chat about coaching for you or your team. If you're organising an event, let's chat about a talk or a workshop.