Work with what you got to achieve the best you can.
The real world is not ideal. Companies do not start to exist just because you became a team leader. They have a history, and everyone in your team has a unique background. My mission is to bring across one key factor of success when you become a team leader: Work with what you got, and make the best of it. My own journey serves as an example of how you can make things work.
When I became a team leader, I had not received any training on how to actually do my job. Simultaneously, times were rough at the company due to internal restructuring, a merger that still needed post-processing, and the situation of our industry those days. This resulted in quite a high pressure to deliver results, while I needed to learn how to manage and maintain a team at the same time. One question stuck to the back of my head from day one: How can I make my team happy?
I truly believed that a happier team would result in better outcomes for our projects, in a shorter time, with less stress. I somehow just knew this would be the case. However, as my formal education was far from ideal when it came to management skills, I started to dig into the topics that bothered me the most, and tried to become a better leader bit by bit, everyday.
Books, courses and other online resources can bring you far, but they all have one major flaw in common: They present you the ideal scenario. This is by the way true for any resource that uses artificial example: Everything that is presented is automatically relevant to the case, because guess what – the author wants to make a point here! If you’re thrown into the real world, you quickly realize that the most important skill you have to develop is to decide whether something is relevant for your case or not. I learned a lot from the mistakes I made when it came to this skill. And I succeeded.
This blog should help everybody who is in a similar position to learn from real-world examples, and to succeed in their positions, groups, projects, or families.