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The Realities Of What It Means To Lead A Team

It’s not always awe-inspiring speeches, problem-solving, and teachable moments. Running a team comes with even more responsibility than most expect when they take on the mantle. Fail to prepare, and you can end up running them right into the ground. Here are a few things you’re going to be doing a lot more of to ensure your team is the well-oiled machine that it should be.

Imparting culture, not just skills

A lot of bosses tend to think that it’s enough to tell their employees how to do their job. While providing the right tools and helping them learn to use them is important, you have to consider the workplace culture as well. From teaching your employee how to work more productively, from better methods of communication, and time management, you can help shape them to be a much more effective member of the team. No-one else is going to have the birds’ eye view or the time to have as much of an impact on that culture as you can.

A lot of paperwork

With every new person comes a wide and wonderful range of paperwork and admin tasks that have to be done. From payroll to managing vacation days, warnings and complaints, creating an effective HR system is essential. Thankfully, there are hire to retire HR automating software packages out there that can help you take care of it without getting in the way of your own productivity. As the team continues to grow, don’t neglect the growing need for a back-office team to deal with the growing volume of duties, either.

Taking the blame

The ability and temptation to be a tyrant is real. Deadlines may not be met, goals may slip out of reach, and failure is always a risk. When it happens, it’s easy to blame your team. No-one wants to admit their own failure. However, the blow to morale is too great, and failing to take the blame can result in growing a culture where everyone else tries to pass the buck, as well. Take the blame and pass on the credit if you want to create a workplace where people are willingly held accountable and much more invested in the success of the whole team than their own skin.

Sailing a straight course (even when the waters are choppy)

Of course, the business will run into rough patches. It's your job to be a leader in those times and to ensure employees keep their focus on how to solve the issue and improve their work. Setting clear goals and expectations with the help of workload management software can help. Similarly, it’s important to keep things positive but without hiding signs of trouble from employees. They’re likely to sniff it out in the end which can destroy your credibility with them.

Heavy lies the crown, indeed. It comes not just with authority, but responsibility for the direction the entire team is going to take. Make sure you’re ready for the role before you start taking on your own employees.

About the author, Mark

Mark Asquith is a serial entrepreneur who has built globally successful design, marketing, software and digital businesses since he quit his real job in 2005.

A passionate podcaster, global keynote speaker and helpful bloke, Mark is the co-founder of Podcast Websites and the creator of Excellence Expected. He has a terribly embarrassing beard.

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