Team Management Skills
First Things First
A good starting point is the Warren G Bennis quote that "Leaders are people who do the right things; managers are people who do things right." Leadership involves creating a compelling vision of the future, communicating that vision, and helping people understand and commit to it. Managers, on the other hand, are responsible for ensuring that the vision is implemented efficiently and successfully.
Of course, these two roles overlap – and, to be fully effective, you need to fulfill both roles. However, the focus of this article is on the specific skills and responsibilities of managers, and on the tools available to them. After all, there's no point energizing people to work towards a fabulous vision of the future, only to fall flat on your face when it comes to implementation.
The Importance of Delegation
The top priority for team managers is delegation . No matter how skilled you are, there's only so much that you can achieve working on your own. With a team behind you, you can achieve so much more: that's why it's so important that you delegate effectively!
Successful delegation starts with matching people and tasks, so you first need to explain what your team's role and goals are. A good way of doing this is to put together a team charter , which sets out the purpose of the team and how it will work. Not only does this help you get your team off to a great start, it can also be useful for bringing the team back on track if it's veering off course.
Only then will you be in a position to think about the skills, experience and competencies within your team, and start matching people to tasks. Read our article on task allocation for more on how to do this, and to find out how to deal with real-world challenges, such as managing the gaps between team members' skill sets.