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What's your real job as a team lead

This applies for basically all team leads, independent of the company, category of company and the level of hierarchy

Yeah, you got your job description, but forget this for a while.

Your real job is to make your team member happy as possible so they want to come to work.

I'm talking about removing any obstacles they encounter so that they can concentrate on the work and don't have to
care about the little things.

And yet, sometimes this feel like herding cats.

Be there for them

I usually treated my team members with the (almost) highest priority. If I'm not in a meeting or similar, they could come
to me at any time, with all kind of request.
Never send them away for a comment like: "Talk to <some else>" about that issue or "create a ticket for IT". Listen and
take the action.
This lead to many requests, but relieves the burden on the team member so they can concentrate on their work.
Here are some real world examples:

  • "My mouse is not working properly sometimes":
    Get them a new one, go talk to IT yourself, walk over, get one NOW and return with a new mouse in a few minutes.
    That team member was/will be happy for the rest of week (at least).
  • (in a room where multiple team member work): The office chair of <other person> squeaks and I feel annoyed:
    Take care, go to the utility room, pick up some oil or similar product, use the lunch break or when the team member
    has gone home or is not there yet and fix the squeak. Instant happiness. Or at least ask the facility management
    to fix it. If your team member has to pause for 5 min, who cares.

Sure, sometimes something needs to get ordered or done by someone that can't do it right now. But get it ordered, queued
up the task with the right people and return to your team member and tell him/her: I dealt with it, will happen in the next few days.

Yes, this sounds silly but with this hands-on, no worry attitude your team members feel better. And I know, a lot of
management lectures tell you the opposite. But this makes a HUGE difference in the team, their happiness and their productivity.
And don't use the increased productivity to push them! Leave them some slack, tolerate short distractions.
And if there is some crunch time because of a deadline, they will offer some extra work to get the things done.

This is only one part of the series and not the only thing, but in combination it proved very efficient with a happy team and
a lot of work done.

Previous article: Series Introduction
Next article: Become a team

Photo by Roby Allario on Unsplash

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