About to become a team leader. Help?

  • 9
    A good leader serves his team, sets am example, and seeks to make the people he leads better.
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    Lead by example. Dont be a “do as i say not as i do” asshole

    Also show them that you’re willing to go to bat for them
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    Leadership roles are about managing expectations.

    You'll have to focus on two fronts,
    1. Your leadership
    2. Your team

    And then, while meeting everyone's expectations, you'll have to align everyone for the common vision/goal.

    Team lead is a bit tricky position as you are managing people and still hands on. It might get stressful at times.

    I would recommend Simon Sinek's work. Watch his videos on leadership, dude talks good.
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    Run. It's not fun
  • 14
    Listen. Like, actually listen. This is probably the most important one.

    Find pain points and fix them. This is the second most important.

    The rest are in no particular order:

    If someone works better a certain way, let them, even if it’s a minor inconvenience to you.

    Lead by example, and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.

    Remember: out of the rest of the company, you understand your team. Stick up for them, and mediate any requests that come in.

    Be a shield between your team and the execs (and sales) who will do them harm. Set realistic limits on feature requests, get specific details, and help block scope creep.

    Take care when pairing your team members on projects, especially with members of other teams: it’s not just skills, but also personality that’s important.

    Give credit, don’t take credit.

    Take blame, don’t give blame.

    You serve with the team; it’s right there in the word “team.” That said, they don’t serve you, either. Work with them, don’t drive them like sled dogs.

    Understand your team’s individual needs, wants, and issues. Help where you can, and be supportive. If you instead threaten them, even implied, you instantly lose their respect and desire to help.

    Empower your cohorts whenever possible. If they own or contribute to project decisions, they will be more motivated in making it all work well. If you show trust in them, everything will be easier.

    Tell your team why things are important, and what the goals are. Let them work out the details and the best (or a personal) solution. Do not tell them how to do something unless the specifics are actually important. Likewise, don’t change implementation specifics unless it’s also important; no one likes a micromanager.

    Understand that not everyone will make a good team member. If they don’t fit, they don’t fit. Personalities absolutely must mesh well, as one bad apple will quickly start to spoil the team. Remember this while hiring.
  • 2
    @Root Wise words
  • 4
    Always do the couch test:
    When the team needs to lift a couch and move it. A leader helps lifting the couch with the team. A boss? sits on it.
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    WOW! Thank you all!
    And thank you @Root for taking the time to write such a comprehensive list. I will try to be the best team leader possible
  • 5
    Don't micromanage things. Trust others judgment on how to best solve certain task.
  • 4
    Remember that your team don't work for you, you work for your team.

    You fight for them to be able to get the clearest requirements possible, the best kit possible, the least red tape possible, you set management's expectations on timelines to allow them to do the best job they can, and you shield them from the ridiculous moans from hire up.
  • 5
    @Root @KryptonTurtle

    What the wise lady said is true, but I'll add one.

    Don't try to be the best team leader possible. Just be yourself. You're human. It's ok to make mistakes. Ask for help / advice / critic if you're unsure.

    Doing things best isn't always the right choice. So listen to your heart and your gut feeling, don't try to hard and if necessary pull the ejection seat and take time for yourself when you feel overwhelmed.
  • 1
    @IntrusionCM thank you very much for those kind words
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