When you are asked to lead an existing team, the idea that you might get to pick your own team quickly evaporates and you have to come to terms with a few things, immediately…
- This isn’t the team you thought you’d be leading.
- The work still needs to be delivered.
- Can this team do it.
- If not, how will you get them there.
Breaking in new team isn’t easy because more often then not, the reason you’ve been put in charge of the team is because there are issues within where they are struggling – apathy, discord, late deliveries, no cohesion, loss of confidence, inexperience – take your pick (or picks) but there they are and now it’s time for you to break them in.
The mistake most new managers make is that they take on all these issues at once thinking if they do a bit on each it will fix the team across the board, sadly this is incredibly wrong (and I speak from experience).
The first thing you need to do is accept the previous 4 points and identify what the problems are with the team, once you’ve done that, pick one problem and work on it. Nail it down, get it right, get the team onboard and build on that success by taking on the next one (not the next two or three).
Don’t worry about what everyone else is thinking or asking, you know what you’re doing, you know where your focus needs to be and you know where they need to go.
All they are missing is a leader to show them the way.