Working with your team leader – where to from here, and how can we get there?
Nancy Kaur
26 July 2021

After the first fifty days you are firmly embedded in your new leadership role.  During this phase you have developed a strong and trusting relationship with your team leader.

Perhaps both of you have discussed and have considered the overarching concepts such as developing strategy, change and execution of high-level projects and programs?

This is an appropriate time for projects and initiatives to come together. Quite possibly you will begin to see the team begin to pivot into a new strategic direction.

This is an opportune time to work closely with your team leader to take the team to a new level.  Here are some strategies that will offer practical steps to accomplish this objective:

  • Explore & develop big opportunities.  Highlight 2-4 significant (relevant organisational goals) opportunities and begin developing them out with the team leader.
  • Get the right people, in the right roles. Once you have clarity on the big opportunities, you should take a deep breath and be honest with yourself about whether you have the right people in the right roles. If you don’t, make changes sooner rather than later. If you can develop existing talent than that is a nice plus, but often you will have to reconfigure the team and bring in external talent.
  • Collaborate on goals, strategy, and plans. Drive to clear goals, actions and plans to realise the big opportunities. This step necessitates a high level of collaboration with your team leader and of course your team. Involve those accountable for execution, to develop and decide on the BHAGs – Big Hairy Audacious Goals. And, then coach your team leader on the creation of their strategies and plans.
  • Manage change and focus. At this point, you’ll have to drive fundamental change in peoples’ behaviour. Use the relevant change management model to increase success. Also, ensure your team leader is laser-focused on the change agenda.
  • Execute & measure. Keep the focus on execution.  Periodically measure the impact of the strategy on the BHAGs (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals) and the important KPIs. You’ll start getting a rhythm to the execution and begin learning what is working and what needs to be adjusted. At this point, you will hopefully begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Keep your team leader focused, energised, and driving impact, and you’ll see them grow.

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” Sheryl Sanberg, COO of Facebook

“People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.” Michelle Obama, attorney and former First Lady of the United States

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