Congratulations! You’ve been promoted and your team has quadrupled in size!

Congratulations! Your mentee has been promoted and THEIR team has quadrupled in size!

All sounds good until the realization hits that your (or their) current leadership skills can’t quite absorb the changes forthcoming. Oh, boy! Sound familiar?

Fear not!

Today we’re going to look at 3 leadership adaptations to consider when transitioning from managing small teams to large teams:

1.    Your Management Style Will Shift from Direct to Indirect – When your team consists of a handful of people, you have personal relationships with each individual, you have regular one-on-one meetings, and you directly manage daily intricacies without becoming terribly overwhelmed. When your team consists of 30+ people, “one-on-ones” quickly move to “out-the-doors”. For this reason, managers of growing teams begin to develop (or hire!) folks underneath them. This change requires a release of “control” and an empowerment of the people on your team. Managing for scale is finding the delicate balance between hovering in the details, while also stepping back and trusting others to step up. Empowering and trusting others becomes a necessity.

2.    Your Content Will Shift All. Day. Long. – One of the benefits of managing a small team is spending long, focused blocks of time tackling a single project or topic. Being able to go deep on an issue means focus feels deliberate and accomplishment intrinsically feels greater. However, with more people and larger teams, management of multiple projects and issues means that the content of your day shifts all day long – back-to-back – from one to the next. The feeling of accomplishment on any one project can elude you, leaving you feeling distracted and overwhelmed. There are a few techniques that can help you successfully content shift as you make the transition. Planning time to scan through your calendar each morning, to mentally prepare for the day and each scheduled meeting, is a must. Carving out time at the end of the day to reflect on the hustle will allow for deliberate review and summary of the day. Making a Monday Morning Hit List on Friday afternoon also saves calibration time at the start of the week. Learning to pivot throughout the day is one of the most valued leadership adaptations of all.

3.    Pick Your BattlesYou want to do everything. Quite possibly, you’ve always been able to do it all. How can you continue to do it all? You don’t. You need to pick your battles. What are the most important topics for you to pay attention to and where do you draw the line? The more comfortable you become operating in a world where you need to determine what matters most, the more productive and successful you become. Picking your battles, determining the most important and impactful, and understanding some “i’s” might not get dotted, will serve to increase your impact and encourage others to look for their biggest wins as well.

Which one of these adaptations will you try this week?

Pick one. Commit out loud and let me know so I can check on your progress!