Now that you have been introduced to Office Politics and have a good sense of how you can be successful, it is time to talk about managing your team!
As I described earlier, I will be covering this topic in three podcasts. The first podcast provided an introduction. The second was about how you can be successful. And this one covers how to manage your team.
You can get the slides that I used here.
- Be a Role Model
- Minimize Politics in Your Team
- Align and Support Company Culture
- Champion Members of Your Team
- Recognize and Support Diversity
- Provide Positive Transparency
Be a Role Model
- Demonstrate confidence and leadership.
- Don’t be afraid to be unique. Communicate and interact with everyone.
- Show respect and concern for others.
- Be knowledgeable and well-rounded.
- Have humility and willingness to admit mistakes.
- Do good things outside the job.
Minimize Politics in Your Team
|Hire||Hire the right people (the right kind of ambition)|
|Align||Align your team, provide a clear vision with supporting goals|
|Fair||Treat everyone fairly|
|Zero Tolerance||Show no tolerance for divisive behavior (gossip, “he said, she said”, unwillingness to work together, etc.)|
|Open and Honest||Make sure communication is open and honest|
|Discuss||Discuss approaches to dealing with political issues|
Align and Support Company Culture
“You Are Either With Us or Against Us”
Champion Your Team
- Check-in frequently
- Ask them how they are doing and what you can do to help
- Then do it!
- Go beyond the surface, understand the details
- Share your thoughts, and ask for theirs
- Orchestrate wins
- Communicate their successes with your peers and leadership
- Provide them with projects and tasks that will help them grow
- Give them time for development (classes, projects, etc.)
- Support their career aspirations (even if it might mean they leave your group or the company)
Recognize and Support Diversity
Diversity improves a team’s problem-solving abilities
There’s never one way to solve a problem. Each person’s unique problem-solving approach is based on a blend of our different backgrounds, experiences, personality and the different ways we process information. The more diverse your team is, the more opportunities you’ll have to approach a problem from different angles.McKinsey and Co
It is easy to say that managers should be transparent. Communicate what you know and hear to their teams.
- But that is not always the best approach.
I agree that this is important.
But you must provide context. You must fit it into a larger narrative with respect to the organization or company’s vision, mission, and goals.
An example is worth 1000 words.
- An organization reduces investment in a product that is important to your customers
- Two organizations are merged
Example – Delivering an Innovative Solution
- Traditional break-fix support model
- Very high NPS score
- A customer-first leader with support from executives
- Large, worldwide, well-trained, and committed organization
- Not scaling to the complexity of the new products
- ¡Expensive to continue to scale
- Move from reactive to proactive support model
- Based on collecting telemetry data from customers
- Change workflow for support staff
- Risk NPS
- Uncomfortable for the leader
- Well-aligned with new products
- Inexpensive to scale
Drove change with key influencers, primarily executives. Most importantly, the CEO. Leveraged some top-down help in aligning those who were not fully bought in.
What will you do differently TOMORROW based on listening to this? Here are a few options.
- Spend time with your team aligning to the vision, mission, and/or goals.
- Identify divisive behavior in your team and address it.
- Put in place a plan to increase diversity in your team.