Yeah, I can understand your excitement. You just got a promotion and you’ve been tasked with leading a team. The pay is good, so congratulations. However, you should be prepared for the type of work that this really is.
Managing a team isn’t as glamorous as Donald Trump and Bill Gates make it seem. As a team leader, you’re supposed to be the one everyone comes to when ideas are aloof or when the team reaches a standstill, so you should always have something to say at the very least, or you’ll be judged as incompetent and an idiot. You’re also directly responsible for the activities, whereabouts and generally everything else about your team members. This directly means that whenever a member of your team isn’t performing as much as they normally should (given the level of tools and infrastructure at their disposal, that is), you’re the one who most probably gets the axe and takes the heat.
Wait. Before you reject the promotion, just hold on and read on. It might be a difficult task to lead a team but with the right know-how, you can actually excel and your team could go on to reach and surpass expectations. We’ve compiled a little list that could help you in effectively leading your team. Enjoy:
Delegation is highly important. As the team head, you’re the administrative leader (which in itself is a herculean task). You should make sure that everyone in your team has something active they’re doing. It makes everyone in your team seem useful and also gives them an input that they bring to your team. However, delegation isn’t the end of everything. You need to constantly check in to see how they’re handling your task. This step should be done discretely, so as not to make them feel that you don’t necessarily trust them. Make sure you keep tabs on their work, but make your fact finding processes and sources very anonymous. Also, you should know that delegation doesn’t give you the freedom to just hang around and be lazy. While others are busy, keep busy yourself. Otherwise, your perception from their point of view will be greatly damaged.
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This is also highly important. Whenever a team member completes a task with efficiency, make sure to praise them and make them feel appreciated. It’s morale-building, instills them with a confidence and serves as an incentive for others to do more.
Manage your time well
Whatever project you’re currently working on, you have to make sure to give it your undivided attention. Complete focus is required to make something work and without it, you might as well not begin at all. Time management if very vital for team leaders, as it helps them to effectively divide themselves between different tasks and the people in their teams. As a team leader, you should be able to manage time effectively.
Balance as a team leader means finding a mid-point between conflicting concepts of a theme. You should know when to be firm and when to be lax, you should know when to pardon and when to impose sanctions and penalties. Get it? Balance is what give you flexibility and it ensures that you don’t become a monotonous leader
Ask your members for advice
You’re not a dictator or an autocratic leader. In major decisions, you can ask your members for their input and what they think on some areas. It makes your members know that their opinions are valued and that they’re not just in the team to work and work on end. You never know; your members could actually have insights that could potentially surprise even you.
You’re a leader and a human, not a god. This means that you’re also prone to mistakes and errors. Whenever you make a mistake that concerns or affects the team in any way, learn to apologize to those you’re wronged (and sometimes, even those you didn’t). Above everything, it will teach your members to accept their own flaws and encourage them to come clean when they also make mistakes. It’s leading by example. How do you expect your members to admit their wrongs when you won’t do the same?