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For Three Hours Each Week, Morgan’s the Boss

Working at CoachAccountable is pretty great. We are truly a high-performing team (we both separately get a chuckle when people are surprised there are just two of us), and our mutual coaching background allows us to coach each other, deal with the rare breakdown in a matter of minutes, and make sure we’re both constantly present to our big goal (elevating the coaching industry).

Know what else is cool? We get to do whatever we want. Meaning we get to flip the script on software companies, startups, working remotely, and pretty much whatever else we want. We get to do things like not having a bug log (no need, no accumulation), avoiding a feature request list (we’re in touch daily with the din of what people are asking for), and creating “Morgan’s the Boss” (MtB).

What’s Morgan’s the Boss, you ask?  That’s our weekly ritual, Thursday mornings for a block of 3 hours, when we invert the power structure of CoachAccountable.  Morgan gets to tell John what he should do, rather than the other way around.  It’s Morgan’s chance to call the shots and prioritize what she sees to prioritize, and John’s at her disposal to execute on those ideas.

Here’s how MtB time occurs for each of us.

CoachAccountable - Morgan MeredithMorgan’s Experience

At the last software company I worked at, here’s how suggestions from the front lines were handled.

Support team: Hey developers, every day we have to do X thing about a hundred times, and we’re often stuck waiting for you to help us out. It’d make all our lives easier if we could….

Developers: Yeah yeah, that would be nice someday. But we’re really busy fixing stuff that we shouldn’t have released because it was broken, so why don’t you write that suggestion on a scrap of paper and burn it as a sacrifice to the gods of programming in hopes it’ll someday happen?

Support team: …

How I felt at work, pre-CoachAccountable

And at CoachAccountable, during Morgan’s the Boss I get to actually ask for things that make my and John’s jobs easier. And they get done.

I can request everything from a “Loved On” button to mark when/how I’ve loved on customers (consistent with my title as Director of Customer Love and Handholding), to blog posts that have been lingering, to updated images on the signup page, to a quick way to delete multiple old Worksheets.

John makes a guess as to how long the task will take him, then races to beat the clock and show off his work. He often surprises me with a bonus item, something like, “While I was building thing X, I realized thing Y would also be great, so I built it!” I enjoy seeing the challenge take shape, too; often I’ll suggest something, John will take it to a different level, and we’ll co-create the idea of the final result. That process animates both of us as we get to step out of our expected results for the week.

The net result of Morgan’s the Boss is that I feel empowered to make my job more efficient, John’s enthusiastic about having less busywork to do, and CoachAccountable as a whole is better for it.

John’s Experience

For me, Morgan’s the Boss time is a special kind of treat for several reasons.

First, I’ve been by-and-large calling ALL the shots for CoachAccountable for quite some time now, 6 years and counting.  Yes, I love the control and being able to play this most worthy game wherein I’m fully responsible for the outcome, but boy is it nice (and a novel change of pace!) to relax the ol’ executive function for even just a little while and settle in more simply executing based on another’s leadership.  To do so is to experience one of the luxuries of being someone else’s employee, one that I, as a long term entrepreneur, had largely forgot.

Second, MtB is a chance for me to truly play, even if for just a little while, the idealized role of the utopian egalitarian leader: I get to put my money where my mouth is in saying I value the input and perspective of others and believe in their capacity to meaningfully contribute direction.  I hope to always remain open to the insights that are not necessarily mine, both from CoachAccountable customers and team members, insomuch as I genuinely prioritize and act on them.  I’m fond of the phrase “CoachAccountable is a benevolent dictatorship”, and this exercise fits that to a T.

Third, some really good stuff gets created when we go according to Morgan’s priorities rather than mine.  Routinely dealing with different things as she does, she naturally has different insights into what would help the cause.  These insights concern not only serving our users better but also making her job easier, which feeds right back into serving our users better.  Time spent making her more effective is time well spent indeed.

Finally there’s a certain energy to carrying out Morgan’s tasks in a rapid, time-bound fashion.  We hop on a Zoom call, she tells me what she wants me to do, I say something to the effect of “Okay boss, I’m on it… see you when I’m done!” and I hop off and get cracking.  It’s a game to see how quickly I can knock out the task, and there’s a keen audience of one that I’m performing for (which is way more fun than toiling in isolation).  Focus and flow come easily, and being able to proudly show off something new and done is so very rewarding.  We hop back on the Zoom call for show-and-tell, and move on to the next thing.

And that’s how it goes for the 3 hours.  It’s not exactly instant gratification, but it’s darn close and I love it.


And there you have it.  Here are some of the cool things that have come out of MtB sessions that you might have come across:

  • Having a Worksheet as part of an Offering sign up process
  • Rapid deletion of duplicated items in Courses and similar Worksheet assignments
  • A tidier Terms of Awesome
  • This speed run video of setting up an Offering from a new account in under 3 minutes.
  • The former Affiliate program became the more aptly named Referral Program
  • A Support Services page created using Offerings, where you can book a time for help
  • The coaching hours log report (ICF credentialing, anyone?)

We continue to have fun rewriting the script and inventing new structures for how our company is “supposed to be run”, and we’ll continue to improve CoachAccountable in the myriad ways that our joint perspectives allow us to!

4 Comments »

  1. Twila said,

    November 13, 2018 @ 8:47 pm

    Hi Guys!
    You are both absolutely Fantabulous! Thanks for sharing your process.

    Is it possible to find out how to “rapidly” delete worksheets and duplicated items in courses.

    Thanks so much!
    Twila

  2. Twila said,

    November 13, 2018 @ 8:51 pm

    Wow!
    I just went in to clean up a clients worksheets before our meeting tomorrow – and SHAZAM! — There was the question asking if I wanted to delete all earlier worksheets!

    Amazing!
    Twila

  3. Damon Stoddard said,

    November 13, 2018 @ 11:35 pm

    Love it and the worksheet as part of sign up process is gold! Also looking forward to multiple deletions (did you read my mind)

  4. Damon Stoddard said,

    November 13, 2018 @ 11:44 pm

    Boom. Just used the delete worksheets. Literally just solved one my only frustrating parts!! Awesome

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