Parent Category: Business & Finance
Category: Small Business & Start-Ups
Published on Sunday, 01 April 2012 17:49
Written by A C Powell
While many incoming managers prefer to establish their own teams, inheriting people presents great benefits along with, sometimes hidden, significant challenges. Building a team can be a lot like blending a family. Professionals stepping into new leadership roles must foster a dynamic balance between recruiting talent and retaining experience. In fact, one of the biggest challenges facing a manager new to an organization or a different division or business unit and tasked with leading an inherited team becomes the time it takes for that manager to gain the trust of the existing team. A dynamic leader who possesses the ability to quickly connect with people can usually garner “buy-in” from an inherited team in a relatively short period of time. Sun Tzu says it best when he describes the general as the embodiment of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage and strictness; moreover, leaders in the business arena should reflect those same attributes. Just like a victorious general in Sun Tzu’s time, such a business leader will find leading an integrated team in producing desired results to be far less challenging.
Existing teams offer stability and, more importantly, valuable experience working within the organization. Sufficiently engaged, inherited professionals can help new management avoid re-inventing the wheel. Existing teams know what ideas have already been tried and may even be able to provide insight into why certain initiatives were less successful than others. Furthermore, people familiar with the organization can also offer invaluable advice with regard to the current organizational culture, especially when change becomes necessary. Challenges most often arise when an existing team resists changes intended to increase targeted efficiencies. New managers would do well to employ the following strategies, when building an integrated team:
1) Adopting a culture of transparency—people appreciate being “in the know” but respect the leader more when access to truly sensitive information becomes restricted;
2) Connecting with the interests and passions of existing team members—helping people achieve their individual professional goals, even if that means they eventually leave the organization; and
3) Empowering the performers—encouraging peer leadership takes the pressure off the leader and allows said leader greater creative space.
In building any team, the leader has the opportunity to shape the work group in her or his own image, so to speak. By combining the right mix of seasoned professionals and so called “young guns” or “hot-shots”, a manager has the opportunity to create a new paradigm within the dynamic of that group. Bring them together as a team then make them believe the unit can accomplish any task set before it. Reward achievers and sanction slackers. This is how a new manager can obtain the advantages of Heaven & Earth.
Amir Clayton Powell is an author, advocate, entrepreneur, father, husband, servant of God, and warrior. By the by, he also happens to be the Publisher of The Old School Journal™ (TOSJ) as well as the Founder & Chairman of A C Powell & Co. LLC. Find A C on Twitter: @AClaytonPowell. Follow TOSJ on Facebook & Twitter.
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