It is necessary to change and adapt the new ways of leadership as and when your team grows. You cannot use the old ways, old methods that you used when you used to lead a small team. A bigger team would require more of your time, attention, support, and so on. Many times you may come across people in your organization who have been facing difficulties since the day their team has grown bigger. Or you too might be facing the same issue. Want to get rid of it? In this article, we will discuss about 4 ways to Lead Growing Teams.
From Direct to Indirect:
When the teams are small, you can concentrate a little more on each one of them but when your team grows bigger, you cannot do the same and manage them all together. This will also make you feel that you cannot support each one of them individually.
This is why managers of growing teams start to hire or develop managers under them. But this will further lead you to be moved away from the people and the work happening on the ground. But, you are still responsible for the result of your team, and you cannot be in all the details. Decisions will be made without you or your inputs, and things will be done differently than the way you might have one them.
In the beginning, it may feel disorienting, as if you are losing control. But empowering your people is a necessity. One of the biggest challenges of managing is finding the perfect balance between going in details on a topic or stepping back and allowing your team to take care of it. As a team grows, learning to trust is important.
Teammates treat you differently:
Many a time, when your teammates don’t know you well and see that you are in a position of authority, they are less likely to tell you the truth at the workplace. They might not wish to disappoint you or have you think badly of them. Or they might be trying to make your life easier by not burdening you with new problems.
Here are some of the countermeasures one can take to make it easier for other people to tell you the truth. Emphasize that you welcome their opinions and reward those who express them. Start accepting your mistakes and remind your team that you are human too, just like everyone else. Use language which invites discussion such as; “I might be completely wrong here, so tell me if you don’t agree or My opinion is….” You can also directly ask them for suggestions or advice : “If you were in my place, what would you do in such a situation?”
In a small team, you might pass hours of hours unnoticed for the discussion over one topic but in bigger teams, you might require to take back to back meetings wherein you might have to immediately drop the past discussion and get mentally prepared for the next one.
This surely does sound difficult but here’s a trick for that; Start scanning through your calendar every morning and prepare notes for each meeting. Develop a robust note-taking and task-management system. Find time for the reflection of those meetings at the end of every week.
Some days you will still feel distracted. But one day you will come to accept that there will always be a dozen different issues to work on at any given time some big, some small, some unexpected — and as a manager of a large team, you will learn gradually to roll with it.
Choose your own battle:
The more you look after your schedule, the more likely it is that something under your leadership isn’t going as well as it could be. It can be projects falling behind schedule, miscommunications that need to be cleared up, or people who aren’t getting what they need. At any given moment, you can list dozens of areas that you could be working to improve.
At the end of the day, you are only one individual with a limited amount of time. You can’t do everything, so you must prioritize your work with its timeline. Perfection is not an option. It may take a long time for you to get comfortable operating in a world where we have to pick and choose what mattered the most, and not let the sheer number of possibilities overwhelm you.
Hence, these skills will help lead growing teams better.
compiled by Faber Priyal & Faber Mayuri