Do you ever feel like you have all the answers but are thrown into leadership? We’ve been there.
John Correlli and Nathan Gilmore cofounded TeamGantt back in 2009. Leadership was not something they thought about when they started the company. They were just two guys trying to build TeamGantt from a basement, without any investor funding.
However, bootstrapping a business taught them the power to do more with less. These early lessons have shaped the way they lead their team today.
You can help your team achieve their full potential by using a lean approach in leadership so that you all can enjoy bigger wins.
Make sure your team understands what #1 is
Since TeamGantt was a Saturday-morning job for John and Nathan, achieving one important thing each morning has been part our company culture. It was easy to decide what to focus on in those days.
“It was easier when we were just the two of you because we were always on one page. Nathan says that communication was not necessary. We just knew where we were going, and what our goals were. “But, when you have more people involved, it’s important to ensure everyone is aligned with the same vision and mission.”
How can we keep 20 people on the exact same page? It is a combination sprint planning and team meetings that most of it happens.
Sprint planning: This allows smaller teams within TeamGantt, to set their sights at shared goals. Each team has their own rhythm. Our dev team holds biweekly planning sessions to map out the work, identify priorities, and our marketing team follows a 6-week sprint cycle. Here’s a glimpse at a 6-week plan currently in progress for one our marketing projects.
Team meetings: Remote teams need face-time and team meetups help them all move in the same direction. The company gathers annually for food, fun and company goal-setting. Smaller teams meet quarterly or as needed to focus on strategic planning or special projects.
Develop a sense ownership
Leaders know they have to delegate work. Micromanagement is when delegation is not accompanied by trust. This can make it difficult for your team members to trust you and make decisions without your approval.
John Correlli, cofounder Let your team have a goal. Make sure they know what their voice is.
John states, “Give people space and allow them to bring their experience and knowledge to this table.” “Asking questions and getting your staff involved creates a sense ownership.”
Your team was hired for a reason. Trust them to do the job. Accept ideas that differ from yours. You might be amazed at how far your team can reach.
It’s safe to fail
Your team may be better off playing safe than worrying about the consequences of failure. However, it can prevent them from enjoying some amazing wins along the journey.
We place learning above perfection.
You must be comfortable with taking risks when you start a business without any investors. You will only see your potential if you put yourself out there.
Failures should be kept to a minimum. Nathan states, “It is a common misconception that people who start businesses are big risk-takers.” “We don’t take big risks that could endanger the company.
Your team will be more creative if they are allowed to experiment in small increments without fear of failure. This will increase creativity and allow you to discover new and better ways to move the needle. Even projects that don’t go according to plan can bring valuable lessons.
Be open to iteration
It is easy to get stuck in patterns that don’t consider the cost or why it is done that way. Do not be afraid to make changes to improve efficiency or to make trade-offs for growth. It pays to improve the working conditions of your team.