Jack Altman

Jack Altman

Co-founder & CEO at Lattice

CEO of Lattice @latticeHQ.

9 action items

Deliver hard news to someone

    • Think about how you like to receive negative news, and try to give that experience to others.

    • Treat the recipient like an adult.

      When you're giving bad news, be as direct as you can. Don't put so much lipstick on whatever your pig is that the recipient struggles to understand what you're telling them. Think about how you'd want to hear negative news and give others that same respect.... See more

    • It shouldn't be a total surprise.

      By the time you are delivering bad news to someone, the topic shouldn't be completely fresh. If it is, start by apologizing for that, and make sure you do better next time. But then go ahead and deliver the news clearly and directly.

    • Contextualize the news and identify positives.

      Most clouds have some silver lining. You don't want to tell something other than the truth, but look for legitimate positive side effects from the news and help explain those as well. Let's say you're letting a direct report know that their budget will be lower this year than last; contextualize the fact that this happens and (see point above) it was a risk we knew was possible, but that with the tighter budget we'll have a chance to focus the team and exercise more creativity than before.... See more

    • Explain how things can get better.

      If appropriate, articulate the steps that this person can do to improve things in the future. For example, if you're delivering the news that you've decided not to promote someone, help them understand what they could change to be eligible for the promotion in the future.... See more

Ask for a promotion

    • Don't start by asking for a promotion. Start by doing the job you want until it would be absurd for you not to have the corresponding title. Then ask.

    • Identify the job you want and think you should have

      Do you want to be a manager? A team lead? A department head? Think carefully about what you're looking for in the next step of your career.

    • Start doing that job (at least, as much as possible)

      Want to be a manager? Help and coach the people around you. Want to be the head of a function? Take ownership for every single thing going on in that function and make sure people know they can count on you.

    • Make the most honest assessment you can of yourself

      Look around your company. Are you doing the job you'd expect of someone else who had the title you want? Are you meeting the standard of excellence you think the role requires?

    • Once you think it's clear you deserve it, ask for it

      By now you've been doing the job for a while and your honest assessment is that you deserve it. You believe the company is better off with you in that role than not. Hopefully you have a proactive manager who doesn't make you ask, but if not, now's the time to ask.... See more

    • Consider other options

      If you're not getting what you should, consider an employer that will value what you bring to the table. Be careful here; make sure you aren't being entitled or overestimating your current skillset. But if you're pretty sure you're being undervalued and under-recognized, it might be time to look elsewhere.... See more