Strengthening Your Team By Pushing Them (A Little)

A successful project is not just about the processes, but it is about people and how they work together to do it.  The people are more than just roles and positions.  Find their strengths and weaknesses.  Find ways to enhance their strengths and nudge them to address some of their weaknesses.

After all, you are doing great.  You have put together a mighty project full of fantastic ideas and you are ready to implement them and, just possibly, change the world.

That is half of what you need to do.  Now comes the implementation.

The team that you are managing is full of individuals who will be responsible for that implementation and the future processes and changes and derive from it. Over the time that you work with them, you are going to see how their personalities work, their strengths and weaknesses, their passions and the things that they are more ambivalent about.  You probably don’t have the authority to determine exactly how the team will be structured when the process or project is complete, but you do have a lot of influence in the beginning.  You should take the opportunity to examine these personnel issues and see what you can do to add strength and resiliency to the people, not just the process.

For instance, you may have someone who is the fantastic leader and whom you think will do a great job keeping things moving after the implementation phase.  This person may just emerge or need to be nominated. But when you see it happen, something that
you do have influence over is addressing areas where this person may not have much experience or strength. For instance they may not be a great organizer. You can help address that by making them making that person the note taker for your meetings or in charge of some phase of the project that is very detail oriented.

You might have someone who is the opposite, who is very detailed but absolutely does not want to be in a leadership role. It is highly likely that if they are involved on the project team that they will have that leadership role thrust upon them sooner or later, even if it is just in a small way. So, put them in charge of some phase of the implementation or get them to lead meetings or work with them in some ways to enhance and develop their leadership abilities of the top of their other skills.

This means extra work for you, because you’ll have to be more aware of how things are being handled. But, when you are ready to move on and assign that project to the project team, you are going to have a much stronger team.  That will correspond to a higher rate of success.  And you personally will benefit as well, from a well run project to being responsible for projects that keep working well.

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