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Team Leaders –

Have you ever been on a project that just seemed to fly – everyone enjoying the energy from an effective team?  Or – have you ever been in a project that seemed to flop – lack of confidence, days dragging on?  Team Leaders play a huge part in the success of a project.  In a typical project where there are Committees, Champions, Project Managers, and Analysts, Team Leaders are usually at the center of activity.  The results of their work stand out – good or bad.

Analysts rely on excellent direction from their Team Leader.  The Project Manager, who is masterminding the project, communicates objectives and deliverables to Team Leaders.  Without an effective, strong, driven Team Leader for every team, the Analysts in the trenches would have no direction, and the Project Manager would have no way to obtain the project’s deliverables.  Your project could flop.

The Difference Is…

Atlanticon has been a part of dozens and dozens of projects – some that are successful, and some that just merely succeed – some that allow the team to emerge with smiles, proud of a job well executed, and some that allow the team to emerge, drained and exhausted from a hard fought battle.  What makes the difference?  In most cases it was the quality of the Team Leaders.

Too Proud to Fail

One client of ours put together a team that did a particularly extraordinary job.  The Team Leaders were all outstanding individuals, competitive in a cohesive way, sometimes using humor to keep spirits high.  Proud of their roles, they recognized that they represented a link in a chain.  Each Team Leader was intent on not being the link that broke that chain.  During weekly project meetings, each would report his or her progress proudly, ask for help when needed, keep their portion of the plan updated, and speak clearly about what tasks lay ahead.  They GOT it – they understood that the project could suffer if their team faltered, and they worked as a team to make sure the Project Manager got what she needed and that their team members accomplished their tasks.  Each Team Leader truly managed his or her portion of the project.

We have also been in projects where one or two of the Team Leaders just weren’t comfortable in their positions.  Too much other work on their plates, lack of communication skills, failure to follow a plan, or a negative attitude – all contributed to a weakness that was felt throughout the entire project.  Others had to pick up the slack when this happened, causing their teams to struggle.

How to Succeed

In order for a project to fly and not flop, the organization must be willing to do four things:

  • Assign Team Leaders based on their drive to succeed and their ability to lead, and remove them from other distracting duties.
  • Occasionally, enlist the help of a Team Building expert who can energize and help a team maximize their effectiveness.
  • Be willing to replace a Team Leader if he or she isn’t working out.  Other teams shouldn’t have to be further challenged by having to pick up the slack and suffer a loss of morale.
  • Train your Team Leads on the value of Project Management. They don’t need to be PMI Certified, but find a way to educate them. Atlanticon offers 8 hour Project Coaching sessions, tailored to your needs.

When an organization puts together a team, it must make sure that the Team Leaders are the right people.  They must be enthusiastic, diligent, and above all, proud.

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