Hey everyone! My name is John Short, and I’m the founder and CEO of Compound Growth Marketing. I’m a friend of DG and an occasional contributor to his network of content (as is evidenced by this blog). I came up in the world of digital marketing with a demand generation slant. I’ve worked at companies like Monster, LogMeIn, Yesware, and Workable, rising up to the level of VP of Demand Generation at Workable where I managed a team of 8 people, and helped them grow 14X from Series A to just before they raised their Series C. Since starting CGM, I have had the opportunity to work with clients like Airtable, Drift, Robin, Workbar, and more.
I learned to write weekly updates to my boss, and understand the power of them when I started working at Workable. When I joined, I had just come off a really difficult 2-year span of my career. At the beginning, I was nervous and paranoid about my new role, and it didn’t help that I was the only employee in the US – so 100% of communication was remote.
In the first month on the job, I completely relaunched our Google Ads account. The first week of the relaunch was slow, and I was nervous. Traffic went to zero for three days, and then as traffic started coming, the CPA shot up. If I’m being honest, I had two routes: do a mediocre job or push through, overcommunicate, and take control of the position I was in. What I started doing at this intersection had a profound impact on my career. It felt like I went into an all-out sprint.
Before joining Workable, I had hired a coach to help me with communication and project management. She encouraged me to start oversharing information with my boss. At least, it felt like oversharing to me. I wrote the CEO a weekly update with what I had done and what I was planning to do, and the email was always very heavy on the why.
Sending updates did two things:
1) It showed him I was on top of my job, and also gave him insight into how I think, which built trust.
2) It was a weekly exercise that helped me think through everything I was doing and re-prioritize.
While writing, I:
- Would think about the questions he might ask, and adjust my thinking based on those questions.
- Was brutally honest about where I could improve, and where the team could improve
- Would constantly ask myself “why” I was doing something
- Would come up with new ideas
There was profound inner learning that came with these updates. I got feedback quicker, and learned how to get things done at an executive level in a more efficient way. Building trust was huge, but now that I’m running my own business, and don’t have a boss, I still find that writing weekly / monthly updates is a great exercise, so now I do it for advisors of our business, and for employees at Compound Growth.
At some point, I’m pretty sure he stopped reading them, but I kept writing them. I was learning too much about myself, and it was critical for my process as a marketer. Writing, sharing, taking notes, whatever it is, sometimes these things are just as helpful to you as they are for your boss, client, or team that you are sending them to.
Want to learn more about managing up? Join 4,000+ DGMG members today and get access to 70+ videos and templates inside of DGMG University. Start a free 7 day trial today. 100% risk free. Start your free DGMG trial.