Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff is launching a new podcast called “Office Hours,” with Dick Costolo, a veteran entrepreneur and former Twitter CEO, as his first guest, discussing leadership tips and secrets.
Costolo, who taught a management class at Twitter, told Rascoff the key to being a successful leader is, “listen, decide, then communicate.” That’s not to be confused with “decide, listen, communicate,” which is a common mistake, according to Costolo. It’s important to collect context from the team before making a decision, he said. But once the decision is made, ensure the team gets behind it.
He also cautioned other managers not to blame superiors when delivering bad news. In doing so, Costello says, leaders disempower themselves and ultimately weaken the relationship with their employees.
“You have to optimize for the person leaving the room with clarity, not optimizing for whether they’re upset or not,” he said.
The podcast launched Wednesday on Zillow’s website and iTunes. In each episode, Rascoff will interview a different business leader about what guiding a company means today. Rascoff says he was inspired by the frequent conversations he has with other CEOs. Zillow also hosts many top CEOs during a regular speaker series at its Seattle headquarters.
“The conversation always leads to a discussion about company culture, the most effective ways to communicate with our employees, and how we tackle tough decisions,” Rascoff said in a news release. “I often come away from these conversations with fascinating new insights that I want to share with others, and launching ‘Office Hours’ on iTunes Podcasts will allow me to do just that.”
In the fall, Zillow was featured on an episode of StartUp, the popular podcast by Gimlet Media. Zillow and Gimlet had a series of awkward negotiations over the possibility of launching a sponsored podcast. Office Hours, however, is not affiliated with Gimlet Media. The real estate media company decided to produce the new podcast in-house.
Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat, Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck, Mod Pizza CEO Scott Svenson, and Trello Co-founder Joel Spolsky are slotted for upcoming episodes.