Lead Links


Each circle has a lead link role. The purpose of each lead link is to hold the purpose of the overall circle and ensure the circle delivers on that purpose.

  • Clarification for Lead Links: Your circle should have a clearly articulated purpose statement and every member of your circle should be able to reiterate that statement at any time, on the fly. A good purpose statement is broad enough that everyone in the circle can relate and specific enough that it keeps everyone moving in the same direction.

  • Decision-making authority: The purpose of the circle is set and can evolve at the next highest circle in the purpose hierarchy through a governance meeting with a proposal shaped by the Lead Link.

  • ETG Way practices for setting the purpose: Proposal + governance meeting + Generative Decision Making (GDM)


Accountability #1: Inviting/de-inviting people to energize roles within your circle

Clarification for Lead Links: Everyone is accountable for evolving roles within their respective circle(s) to ensure the circle’s purpose is being met. Sometimes, in order for one role to fulfill its purpose, it will require another role to do something as well. Keep track of required role changes by surfacing issues in tactical meetings and asking: “are there role tensions we need to process during triage?” Important: all roles need to be documented in Sobol.

If an individual energizing a role in your circle is falling short on the expectations of the role or you otherwise see an opportunity to assist the individual in their professional development, it is your accountability to ensure that individual receives the support they need. You do not need to provide the assistance directly.

Inviting: If you want to invite an individual to energize a role in your circle, make sure your circle’s budget can sustain any additional costs. A healthy practice is to seek advice from the Controller role. Once you are comfortable with any cost implications, the next step is to post the role in the Role Marketplace and, if necessary, external sources. For external recruiting support, contact the Talent Attractor role. The Talent Attractor will help you interview and vet candidates. Interviews should be with people who will work with the candidate directly. The final decision lies with the Lead Link after seeking an appropriate amount of advice from colleagues.

De-inviting: If an individual is not energizing their respective role sufficiently well, you are responsible for taking action, up-to-and-including de-inviting that individual from your circle. The ETG Way encourages feedback. Before deciding to de-invite someone, make sure you have provided sufficient feedback to the individual. A Future Relationship Advice Process (FRAP) should not come as a surprise to the individual. Others within your circle can also pursue tensions with individuals in the circle.

Decision-making authority: The inviting / de-inviting of individuals to roles is done at the discretion of the Lead Link after seeking appropriate advice.

ETG Way practices related to roles: Advice Process, Interpersonal Tension Resolution Process, Feedback & SBI, Radical Candor, Feedback Escalation Process, Role Advice Process & Future Relationship Advice Process.

Accountability #2: Allocating circle resources

Clarification for Lead Links: The Finance Circle is responsible for providing guidance on the overall financial performance of the business. After seeking the advice of the Finance Circle and the Lead Link of the GCC on financial decisions that will meaningfully impact the organization, Lead Links are responsible for ensuring resources are allocated within their circle to support the overall performance of a healthy business.

Decision-making authority: Remains with the Lead Link after having sought appropriate advice.

ETG Way practices for resource allocations: Advice Process.

Accountability #3: Defining priorities, strategies, and metrics for the circle

Clarification for Lead Links: In order to deliver on its stated purpose, each circle requires a strategy and set of priorities. Lead Links are responsible for ensuring these exist and remain current for their circle(s) through a collaborative process that engages circle members, other circles and the Lead Link of the GCC for advice. Your circle should also have metrics in place to help monitor your delivery on the circle's purpose, strategy, and priorities. You are the decision maker on circle priorities, strategies and metrics, and should engage in the advice process for larger decisions. The priorities and strategies should be fully communicated and easily accessible to everyone within ETG.

A good strategy provides clarity to the team by articulating what the circle is (and is not) going to focus on and, as a result, what capabilities the circle needs to prioritize.

Decision-making authority: Remains with the Lead Link after having sought appropriate advice.

ETG Way practices for strategy setting: Advice Process.

Accountability #4: Championing the ETG Way.

Clarification for Lead Links: There are 5 main team practices everyone at ET Group is expected to follow and Lead Links are expected to champion by proactively and intentionally leading by example.

  • Proactively providing feedback to colleagues so individuals and the team can grow - Lead Links model providing feedback to colleagues on an ongoing basis including encouraging circle-wide feedback meetings / retrospectives and leaning into difficult conversations, even when doing so is uncomfortable. This includes using WorkStory, the Interpersonal Tension Resolution Process, SBI, Radical Candor and the Feedback Escalation Process as feedback tools. Coaches are available to help anytime.

  • Proactively following the decision tree and coaching others to do the same - Lead Links champion ETG’s decision making model including helping to identify an appropriate decision maker when it is otherwise unclear. Lead Links are encouraged to avoid becoming the primary decision maker on all items.

  • Proactively modeling the core elements necessary for establishing and maintaining trust - Self-management is based on a foundation of trust through the demonstration of autonomy. Often leaders will shift to using micro-management when trust is broken. As a healthier alternative, Lead Links role model trust-building by being responsible in fulfilling their roles and living up to ETG’s values while also providing others with ample autonomy. In times when it feels that responsibility is not being demonstrated by others, Lead Links role model healthy interpersonal tension resolution, including requesting help from ETG Way coaches.

  • Proactively modeling radical candor and making it safe for others to do the same - The use of Radical Candor goes beyond feedback and is core to all healthy adult-to-adult communication. Radical candor is the combination of “Challenge Directly” (saying what needs to be said) AND “Care Personally” (doing so in a way that respects the recipient). In meetings, individual conversations and written communications, Lead Links practice modeling radical candor and look for ways to make it safe for others to do the same (such as using “rounds” to ensure each individual’s voice is heard).

  • Adapting the circle’s structure to best deliver on the purpose of the circle and meet the evolving needs of the business. It is the responsibility of a circle’s Lead Link to sense (listen, observe, get curious) to identify when something about how the circle is operating needs to change – roles, structure, purpose, etc. – and then to take the necessary action. Lead Links can engage an ETG Way Coach for guidance on how to navigate changes when the path forward is unclear.

Measures of a Role Well Stewarded

  • Scoring high in the key aspects of the ETG Way as measured by WorkStory.

  • The purpose of the circle is met as measured by metrics for the circle and feedback from peers.

  • The overall performance of ET Group.

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