At last, you’re finally there. You climbed your way up the corporate ladder and you’ve made your way to a management position. It’s your turn to lead your employees as project manager and tackle the company’s next milestone. Now that management has given you a leadership role, are you prepared to efficiently and effectively lead your team to success? If you happen to be one of those unfortunate individuals ill-equipped to manage your team, here are some essential “Do’s and Don’ts” of team management.
First and foremost, when running a team, get rid of any bad eggs. You know the type – comes in late and leaves early, falls asleep during meetings, always the first in line for cake at birthday celebrations. This behavior is contagious and can have a negative effect on your team. Anyone who isn’t fully committed to the team and its goals should be considered for reassignment.
It’s also important to establish roles early. Your team should operate like a machine and everyone should have a designated duty. This being said, it’s equally important to make sure everyone on your team feels valued. Everybody on the team has a job, none more important than the other: from the person sending emails, to the one making the PowerPoint presentation, all the way to the person shaking the client’s hand when the deal is closed – success comes from a total team effort.
Managing individuals on your team may be the most sensitive aspect of team management. But managing your teams’ time, money and resources, all while keeping a definitive scope throughout your project should hold the majority of a manager’s attention so they can always focus on the task at hand.
Now that we covered the do’s on managing a team, let’s take a gander at some of the don’ts. Don’t ever lose control of your team. Making everyone feel valued and leaving the table open for ideas is essential, but always avow your leadership position. A team without a definitive leader isn’t really a team at all; it’s just a bunch of people trying to spearhead ideas, making little progress.
As a manager, you lead by example, that’s why you should never be late. I’m a firm believer on punctuality going a long way. Showing your team that you’re the first to arrive and last to leave the office everyday will show your dedication- and hopefully, that behavior will spread.
There’s no denying the unique importance of a project manager. You have been chosen to manage a team for a reason. Don’t let your position go to your head though. Don’t think you’re above the team, or if you do, just make sure your team doesn’t know it. A manager with a big head can lose the respect from their team easily. With a loss of respect comes a loss of effort. Even the manager should take out the trash every now and then.