The Field Guide to Leading Teams

01/26They are not robots.

You’re probably building a team of “knowledge workers.” Whether you’re working on software development, design, engineering or another half dozen disciplines you’re likely working on a computer for the majority of your day.

You might work in a physical space with your team, or you might work remotely across time zones. The point is that your team is mostly staring into a glowing rectangle and making the magic happen one keystroke at a time.

As a team lead it’s easy to confuse these helpful, intelligent people you’ve hired as productivity machines who exist only to make things for you. This is a mistake. Those smart people hidden behind avatars and usernames have rich, complicated lives of their own that happen all without your permission.

Thankfully they are not robots and neither are you. Things happen in your life that take you away from work just as it does theirs. That’s okay. Good managers understand this and build teams that can handle uncertainty and life changes.

These are the teams people stay with for the long haul.