Blog · May 15, 2015

Managing Teams Effectively

Performance Principles – Managing Teams Effectively

The third of our Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? Performance Principles is “Work effectively with others to achieve goals”.

Surrounding yourself with the right people is critical. What needs to be in place for you as a business leader to be able to trust the people around you? If managing teams effectively is key to your role, then you’ll need to believe that everyone on the team is working towards the same goal – and with the same degree of diligence and passion.

Trust is critical

I recently watched a television programme following a businesswoman’s struggles in running a 20 room hotel. The business was performing poorly, not because she wasn’t making an effort but because she was simply stretched too thinly. She was working 18 hour days and sleeping on a mattress behind the reception desk but there simply weren’t enough hours in the day for her to do everything and do it well. She wasn’t able to focus on what’s important or focus on performance because she was constantly fire-fighting. She needed a team that she could trust to take some of the day-to-day tasks off her hands so that she could focus on managing the hotel and growing the business.

At the end of the programme, once she had that team in place she was a transformed person. The hacking cough that had been bothering her for years was gone and she was able to spend quality time with her family. Only one thing had changed. She had appointed an assistant manager who she felt she could trust to do a good job without requiring constant over-seeing.

Entrepreneurial business leaders often struggle to let go and allow others to oversee critical areas of their business. Many swear by the old adage “If you want a job to be done well, do it yourself”. This might work for small one man band organisations but if you want to grow your business, you need to be able to step back and put your trust in others. Identifying the people you can trust, and building an environment where they are able to engage with the goals of the organisation, will make this process much easier.

Teamwork is difficult

One thing that many of us forget when we’re working to manage teams effectively is that Teamwork isn’t always easy. In fact, it is often hard.

It inevitably involves compromise and putting aside some of your own ideas and aspirations to help the team succeed. There has to be a really good reason for people to do this. This is why it’s critical to create a meaningful Crazy goal that makes it clear what everyone in the team is working towards. Without that level of clarity it’s much more likely that personal agendas and bad feelings will get in the way of your team working together effectively. More importantly, once the goal is in place, each member of the team has to know “What’s in it for me?“.

Managing teams effectively requires effort. It’s not a skill you can learn overnight. It is almost inevitable that you will find yourself dealing with personality clashes and people who struggle to work together effectively. It’s critical that you learn from each experience and use them to develop your team management skills.

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