May 21, 2021
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Life at Cleo

Managing done right: A two-way street

This is probably how you’d expect to round up a meeting with your manager...

Managee: Ok so it sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate, is there anything I can do to help?

Manager: No, that’s alright, thank you though

Managee: No problem. So just to sum up, I’ve got these actions to take away. I’ll let you know how I get on

Seems pretty typical, right? Well, at Cleo, my encounters with my manager have gone more like this:

Manager: Ok so it sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate, is there anything I can do to help?

Managee: No, that’s alright, thank you though

Manager: No problem. So just to sum up, I’ve got these actions to take away. I’ll let you know how I get on

Too often, people have bosses. People have others “above” them, who tell them what to do. With this kind of setup, bosses have a job to do, and the people they manage are resources they can delegate to.

It feels genuinely nice to say that I don’t have a boss. I have a manager. But if you were a fly on the wall during one of our conversations, you probably wouldn’t know who was who. That’s because conversations like the one above are pretty typical at Cleo. Our conversations aren’t really about what my manager has on his workload, and how I can help with that. Instead, they’re about my workload, and he sees his job as empowering me to deliver on that workload to the best of my ability, while making sure I’m happy along the way. This is pretty unique to Cleo from my experience.

So if I don’t work for my manager, who do I work for? I don’t really work for any given person. Instead, I work for my squad. Scratch that, I work with my squad (more on that here). And more than that, everyone else in the squad also works with the squad. We’re all accountable to each other and, crucially, no one is managed by anyone else in the squad. This means there’s no one in the squad with whom I might feel apprehensive about disagreeing, and we like disagreeing here. I can voice any and all honest feelings I have about day to day product decisions we’re making in the squad without feeling like doing so could jeopardise my career, just because someone doesn’t like me disagreeing with them.

What this all boils down to really, is that the culture at Cleo is one where we’re all aligned to our mission: To fight for the world’s financial health. And when you’re all showing up for the same reason, it’s all about what’s best for our community, and not who is managing whom.

If all this sounds like a bit of you, check out open roles at Cleo.

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Right now, we know a lot of people are looking at a future that doesn’t seem too friendly. But you know what?

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
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