ceo image

Ivan Popov

i was once an athlete. then a journalist. now i am a ceo of an iT company. still running marathons though.

Team management in a nutshell – the boss, the leader, the friend

a team management board with sticky notes

Today we discuss the three quintessential parts that make a team management leader a successful one

Truth be told, one of the most challenging endeavors that lay ahead in an entrepreneur’s business duties is the proper management of their team. Without a well-built and successful team hardly any company can prosper and grow. With this being said, it’s only natural to focus on the essence of team management.

The role of the team leader is quite an important one. Whether you serve as a manager to the majority of the employees or as a CEO who leads the managers, by all means, you should have a really good understanding of what you are doing. Team management in a nutshell is the art and craft of communicating with people in such a manner that all participants can benefit from each and every discussion, task, or business duty.

But how exactly could one thrive in team management and be certain that they are on the right track of things?

Team management is all about trust and proper communication

manager communicating with a coworker

What would you say if someone asks you what is team management?

I’m pretty sure the majority of aspiring entrepreneurs will connect this key role to leading, controlling, and distributing tasks. At its core, team management’s end goal is just that – every leader should guarantee the proper workflow and excellent working environment for all their employees.

The important part here is this: how can one achieve this in the easiest and best way possible?

Because, honestly, all of the above-mentioned end goals could be achieved by controlling and micromanaging your employees to the fullest – only to soon witness their resignation papers at your desk.

Clearly, we all need to implement different approaches when it comes to team management. Of course, as in the majority of other work and life cases, the key here is finding the perfect balance.

Bouncing between the roles of the boss, the leader, and the friend is likely the best approach to team management

All right, let’s take a closer look at those three roles and discuss what makes each and every one of them unique and quintessential to the whole picture.

The boss builds authority and structure in the office

When we talk about being a boss, perhaps many people imagine this controlling yelling individual who keeps an eye on whether you come to the office on time or leave earlier than expected.

Many employees fear the boss figure since it represents control, sanctions, getting people fired, etc. But in reality, the boss role doesn’t need to represent all those things in a negative way. Sure, every company needs structure and discipline in order for things to run smoothly. A boss can easily implement all those work aspects without creating a fearsome monster out of themselves.

The role of the boss should be a symbol of this authoritative figure that doesn’t allow people to slack, procrastinate, overdue their tasks, or simply perform poorly at their desks. It’s a crucial part of building authority in the company.

The leader works together with their team and leads by example

The figure of the leader, I believe, is the one many aspiring entrepreneurs aim at nowadays. This person represents the leadership by example – you’ll rarely see a team leader slacking while their team is working their a**es off. Usually, the leader distributes the tasks and micromanages (if necessary!) their employees. They also work with the team to ensure the best possible outcome out of any situation or work issue.

A crucial aspect of the leader’s role in team management is their willingness and readiness to take responsibility for the failures but praises the team for the wins.

The friend takes into account their team’s mental health and overall well being in the company

The friend role in team management has much to do with the employees well-being and overall positive experience at their job. Remember that people pay close attention to whether or not they feel all right at the workplace. Unhappiness and fulfillment are often off the table.

So it’s only logical for one to expect their leader to express empathy, compassion, understanding, and willingness to communicate every time the employee feels the need to. I’m referring to meetings, 1:1s, etc. Taking the friend role in team management is just as important as taking the roles of the boss and the leader, respectively. A successful team is one that feels happy, inspired, and fulfilled at the job.

The crucial part is the ability to combine all three roles if you want to succeed in team management

I think it’s quite obvious that a successful team manager is someone who successfully combines all the above-mentioned roles and executes them properly when needed.

You cannot simply expect to fall into only one role’s criteria and witness a well-established and happy team. The art behind team management lies exactly in the ability to be exceptional at each and every role and to know when you should implement its features according to the situation in mind.

When scheduling team meetings to give away tasks, take up the role of the boss. This way you’ll make it clear to your employees how important for them is to execute the to-dos properly. You also show you won’t tolerate procrastination and not taking the job seriously.

When micromanaging how the tasks are going, implement the lead role instead. Work along with the team and help them out when needed. I can guarantee you they will appreciate your effort and reward you with great dedication and a job well done.

If you witness some of your employees are struggling with an issue or a problem of some sort, take the role of the friend. Talk to them, express interest in what’s been going on, offer guidance, hear them out, give away advice, etc. This approach actually builds a strong bond between you and your team members – in the end, that’s the most important and crucial part of future success.

The bottom line

Team management ain’t easy. It requires lots of work, attention to detail, people skills, excellent skills in communication, empathy, and exceptional problem-solving abilities.

All of this, of course, should not worry you – it only shows you how important your role as a leader is and how much you need to learn before establishing yourself as a successful one. I can promise you, though, that, in the end, it’s all worth it!


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