As your team grows, some things will have to change…including your leadership style. Pay attention to the differences between managing for small and large teams:
- Direct versus indirect management. If your team is small enough, you can develop a personal relationship with everyone and know how they work and how to inspire and motivate them. As your team grows, you can’t be involved with each decision or detail. You have to prepare and enable people to make good decisions without your input. You have to have people you trust and let them do their jobs.
- People treat you differently. As your team grows, they may see you as being less in touch with or far removed from them; and they may be more hesitant to reach out with questions and ideas. Emphasize that you welcome their opinions—even when they disagree with you or have different ideas—and reward individuals for their honest insights and feedback.
- Focus on one issue versus context switching. As your team grows, it may be harder to spend long blocks of time focused on one issue. Be prepared to switch gears quickly. Figure out what you need to know about each topic/issue/project/program to guide your team, then let them do the focused work.
- Be prepared to choose your battles. Realize that you may not be able to cross everything off your to-do list or clear your inbox. Learn to triage and prioritize.