I wanted to take this topic and provide my experience with team management, mostly from my failures, than my successes.
In my career, I’ve always worked within a team. In my personal life, I’ve worked or enjoyed sports that were team based more than individualistic opportunities. One of my favorite mottos is that behind any excellent team is an excellent coach pushing their team to greatness. I think the idea of this, entices you to think about how much power a leader or a manager has in getting the most out of each individual on the team.
Communication is Key.
Generally, when you ask your team where a problem lies, the overall consensus tends to be in communication. What’s interesting about communication, is you could feel like you’re doing the best job communicating, whether it’s through emails, or meetings, or one-on-ones, but what it really comes down to, is having someone connect with you and what you’re trying to do. You cannot influence someone unless they’re connected with you. But I always like hearing that if somebody is not following you, then you’re not a leader. You know that you’re a leader when you turn around and see who’s actually connected and invested in your message. If they’re not aligned with your message, that’s when you come to the realization that you need to grow in your communication efforts.
Motivate Your Team With Clear Objectives.
The second thing I believe to be important in team management is creating a really clear objective or success path for each individual. It’s easy to do that individually, it might be a little bit more difficult to do that with a team of two to three, but when you’re leading 10, 20, 30, 100, 200 people, that path to success and the vision for what we are trying to accomplish needs to be super clear.
Organize Your Team.
The third point is getting your team organized. Within any organization there are different departments and different groups that lead on the path of success. On a football team, you have offense, defense, special teams. What you’re trying to do with team management is organize the different departments and lead them toward that path of success. In order to get the most out of your team, you want to understand everyone’s goals, what they’re passionate about, what they excel in, and then use that information when you’re assembling your team. What happens a lot, is people are trying to do too much and they’re taking on roles that they’re not passionate about or even great at. I think a great leader must understand how to organize the team, and knows how to play the right players. You wouldn’t take someone with quarterback characteristics and put them in as a defensive lineman, you play your team to their strengths. The book, Good to Great talks a lot about putting the right people on the bus, but more than that, is getting people in the right seats on the bus to get to the goal line.
The last element, I would say, to get the most out of your team, is probably controversial and honestly, I’m sure some organizations wouldn’t believe in, but I think the best teams are really driven by high expectations. I am a believer that when people raise their standards, they’ll raise their output. This comes with a lot of conflict. And I think with a good team, I’m not opposed to conflict. I think great teams actually have really healthy conflict. They aren’t afraid to go there with each other, they challenge each other, they push each other to do better. I believe you get the most out of your team when you can create an environment where there’s mutual respect and care.
All of that said, I conclude, from my experience with leading teams brings me to the belief that clear communication, articulating your objectives or goals, and effectively organizing your team will ultimately allow you to get in a great place with your team and in turn get the most out of them.
By: Ryan Choura, CEO & Founder, Choura