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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Handling a Team

I realized I have blogged less and less about "Work" here, even though that is part of my theme.  Increasingly, it is difficult to keep a blog about work when there are so many challenges and I only want to blog about success and happiness and keep the negativity at bay.
Still I would like to be thankful for the learnings that I get, so that I keep improving myself.
Photo from: http://munei.co.za/team.html

One of the lessons is what do you do when you lead a team who may be less enthusiastic than yourself?
By "enthusiastic", I mean having the passion, the drive to go out there and execute the plans even though all the odds are against you. Doing whatever it takes doggedly, even though immediate results may not show.  And this is critical especially when you need urgency and action amongst your team to turn the situation around.
I spoke to several people regarding this, and the feedback was always the same.  When this happens, you talk to the team first, to ensure that they all understand the situation and what needs to be done.  If they know and they are still not doing it, it means that their hearts are not there with you anymore.
Worse, if there are negative people in your team, not taking ownership of their portion of work and even infecting the others with their defeatist attitude.
For most of these people, the solution is only to change the job environment.  This is where management skills will come in to handle the situation properly and objectively, not emotionally and judgmentally.  It is better this way for the person and for the manager.  The person in the team will have a chance for a new lease of life in a different work environment, and the manager gets to hire a fresh start who would not have all the burden of negativity of a long-ailing business environment.

For me, the most important is your immediate boss knows that you are doing all you can.  That way he or she can support you and vouch that you have tried your best.  In my capacity, if I am still needed here, I would do what I can, which includes weeding out the weak chain-links that do not work, and bringing in new links that will make the team stronger.  Sure, the results would be devastating for a while where the technical know-how and business relationships disappear with the old team.  But a fresh start works better than the same old doldrums of non-performance.

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