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How to lead a new team to success

Quickly build momentum with your new employees.


As a small business leader, you know that your company is only as strong as the people who make up the team. Your employees will flourish with a directive and strategy — especially in a new environment.

It takes work to build this momentum, but you can get the ball rolling faster if you give your team the tools to succeed. Here are some tips to help you build a great team quickly.

You’re the foundation of the company: Lead by example

Part of building the team is leading the team. It’s important that you both tell and demonstrate your employees your company values, as well as the energy they should bring to the job. This is a vetted strategy that works for every organization, from those just starting out to even global corporations like Elon Musk’s SpaceX (one of the world’s most successful startups).

As Musk recalls, leaders in his companies “are expected to work harder than those who report to them and always make sure that their needs are taken care of before yours, thus leading by example.” He pushes his senior executives to engage and motivate their employees by going above and beyond.

This approach will have employees return the favour and encourage commitment to success. Don’t forget to let them in on the success as well — it will earn goodwill and help them vest more interest in your company’s success.

Know who’s at the table — and be flexible about it

You’re going to spend a lot of time with your employees even beyond the hiring process. This means you should know them fairly well, including their strengths, weaknesses and areas of opportunity.

Putting your team in a position to succeed based on their skill sets and personalities, as opposed to cut and dry roles, will not only boost their morale but also their productivity and output. This may require some flexibility on your part (within reason).

As an example, team structure may change during the course of a project, with a collaborative approach during the design phase and a more traditional project manager during the implementation phase. Overall, giving your team the keys to drive leads to better coordination, more effectiveness, less conflict and most importantly, increased customer satisfaction.

Build the team culture

The reason sports analogies like “team” are used so often in business is that a great team in business shares many of the same qualities as those in sports. Communication is key here. As the manager or leader of this business, you are very much the team captain.

Your colleagues will believe in you and your vision — they’re counting on you to have a strategy for success.

To get them more involved, define broad roles for them to play into the strategy. This will not only help them feel like they matter — this will ensure they actually do matter. You need them to build momentum for your organization, and they need to feel accountable and part of a valued group that is working to achieve something important.

Also, not enough can be said about being accessible. Ensure that your team knows they can come to you with new ideas and never be intimidated to speak up. If there are times of failure, take the opportunity to educate your team on their misses instead of punishing them for mistakes.

A good captain helps their team strive for more success, constantly improve their skills and be better versions of themselves from day one. Putting all of these into action will help your team do the same.

Up Next: Are you familiar with all of these best practices for leading one-on-ones?

How to lead better one-on-ones

Michael Badejo

Michael Badejo is a communications professional and entrepreneur based out of Winnipeg. His diverse body of work has appeared in Canadian and international outlets covering technology, transportation, commerce and more. When he’s not writing, he’s running his boutique communications shop or finding out the latest in current events and technology.

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