My daughter just accepted a new opportunity and she’s really excited about it. She’s leading a team for a six month project that involves event planning, creativity, media and more; culminating in a large public event. Of all the candidates who interviewed to be part of this project team, my daughter was chosen to lead because she has a combination of necessary skill, self-motivation and clearly displays signs of being an alpha. While those attributes may make for a good leader, they also create challenges. If you’re leading a team that’s newly formed, it’s vital to think intentionally about your leadership style, about the styles of your team members and do some initial planning around how you’ll all work together. Before you begin the actual work, take time to gel the team and establish roles.
Everyone on your team should have a role that contributes to the entirety of your team effort without duplicating what others are doing. If your team wasn’t formed with pre-defined roles, your first order of business will be to assess individual skills and talent. Then have everyone assume a role they’re comfortable with, a role that contributes to the whole.
Let your team members share their preferred methods of communicating. Come up with guidelines together so there’s buy-in from the majority. Take time to talk about how people should communicate if they have questions or issues. Make sure that everyone will feel comfortable approaching you, as the leader, when issues come up.
Good managers know that when leading a team, listening is a vital part of their job. Trust in your team’s skill and dedication and allow people to generate their own ideas about how to be tackle their individual jobs. Invite team members to share how they think a project should be approached. Then, work with your team to develop and adhere to timelines for work and completion.
How We Doin’?
Schedule time for your entire team to get together and ask everyone how it’s going. Give people a chance to share both positive and negative facts and feelings about your team project and how you’re all working together. Always go into a meeting of this type with an open mind. It’s important to promote honest communication – so your team can continue to hum along at it’s optimal level.
Leading A Team and Collaboration
To sum up, set a style that lets everyone know you’re both a leader and a collaborator. Utilize the talents of your team members. But at the same time let them know that you, as leader, have the responsibility for delivery of your project and that you’ll have to deliver it to your own higher ups. With strong collaboration, everyone on your team will genuinely want to see you succeed as their leader, as much as they want to succeed as part of the team.