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Never Managed a Team Before? Neither Had Brenda (Part I)

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Never Managed a Team Before? Neither Had Brenda (Part I)

She’d never managed a team of people before. But when Brenda, was promoted, she knew she would have to manage a team of four. What was ahead of her?

Brenda’s experience is relevant to all Small Business owners. We may start our business on our own and we may choose for our business to grow to a stage where we need a team to help us, or we may buy a business and staff come as part of the package. But, if you’re like Brenda, you may not have had the opportunity to manage others before now. So, what do you need to know?

Let’s start with the easy stuff

1. Be specific with outcomes. 

To be a leader of a team, you need to know what you want the team to achieve. When you know this, write it down as you’re going to have to tell them. Why? Well, consider the over-used phrase, “We’re on a journey”. If you’re meeting friends for a getaway weekend, to ensure you all meet up at the same place, everyone needs to know the end point, the goal, the destination, so they can plan how they are going to get there.

So it is with your business and your team. They, your team members, need to know where you want them to go and what you want them to achieve. They, like your friends, need to know the end point, the destination, so they can plan how they are going to get there. Your goal for them could be based around meeting key performance indicators or targets or developing a product, process or service.

Remember, when setting these goals for your team, follow the S.M.A.R.T. acronym. Ensure every goal you set is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Tangible.

Lastly, convey your goal for the team, to the team. Do so both verbally and in writing (think posters, whiteboard or an email) as this reminds them of their purpose for being part of your team.

2. Be specific with actions.

Now both you and the team know what you want them to achieve as a whole, you need to consider what you need each person to do to contribute to those team goals. In the same manner you considered the team goals in ‘Easy stuff 1’, you now need to identify what you want each team member to work on and achieve.

Identify what you want each person to be responsible for and relate it to the team goals. Explain how they know they will be successful in achieving their personal goals. Each team member must have a clear understanding of what you expect of them. Again, tell them this both verbally and follow it up in writing.

Once you have implemented the ‘easy stuff’, it will make your life easier when it comes to the ‘hard stuff’. Skip the ‘easy stuff’ recommended above and your life, when things don’t go right, will be unnecessarily challenging. Think sleepless nights, losing energy and being concerned some of your best staff could leave. Not much fun to be had there.

I gave this ‘easy stuff’ advice to Brenda and she implemented both of these strategies. It quickly became obvious to her that when she had to do the ‘hard stuff’ about two months later, knowing she had done the ‘easy stuff’ made the ‘hard stuff’ easier.

In my next post, I’ll share the ‘hard stuff’ Brenda had to manage which as a leader of a team you may come across – without warning.

As a result of implementing both the ‘easy stuff’ and the ‘hard stuff’, Brenda has gone from a novice leader to a confident leader. 

You can too.

If you have a team and you haven’t done the ‘easy stuff’ with them, start implementing it now so when my next post appears, you will be in a better position to manage the ‘hard stuff’.

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