Ten Hints for Successful Team Leadership, Part 2

If you find yourself in a new leadership position and would like a little help, here are some very practical ideas.

05/29/2012


5. Keep in touch. Peters and Waterman popularized the concept of “management by wandering around” in their 1982 book “In Search of Excellence.” Email is a great tool, but informal communication such as face-to-face, voice-to-voice, or even chat-to-chat provides much more information about how the work is progressing. Most of us are hesitant to voice our frustrations in a email that can live forever and be forwarded, but a simple, “How’s it going?” may elicit a lengthy and detailed description of any current frustrations or roadblocks that might adversely affect progress. Sometimes shooting the breeze clears the air.

 

6. Give them what they need. Make sure your team members have everything they need to keep moving forward, be that equipment, software, technical support, freedom from interruption, clear areas of responsibility, information, and even the occasional pat on the back. (Although you might want to draw the line at the masseuse and the foosball table.)

 

7. Be a conduit, not a bottleneck. Often the team leader is the main contact between team and client, or team and management. Some clients do not want their technical people to be “distracted” by questions from your team members, and will appoint a single point of contact on their side who only wants to talk to you. If that is the case, and everything has to pass through you, be a pit bull. If your people need input or answers, don’t take no for an answer. After you have made yourself a pain in the lower regions to your contact, if you are not getting the answers you need, politely suggest that a short meeting be set up so that “my geeks can talk to your geeks.” Trust me, this works.

 

8. Lead by example. I don’t know who “they” are, but they also say that great leaders lead by example. Be open. Be honest. Don’t panic. Don’t yell unless you have to. If you don’t know, say so, but you’ll find out. Be professional. Have some fun. Be friendly, but not necessarily always a friend. Expect a lot from yourself and from your team. Work smarter, not harder or longer. Your team will respond in kind.

 

9. Know your team. Yogi Berra is alleged to have said, “Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.” What’s going on inside your team’s heads? What are they good at? What do they think they are not good at? (Are they right or wrong?) What outside issues do they have? Do they need some slack or some discipline? Which individuals pull their weight? Which don’t? Who communicates? Who doesn’t? Who pitches the ninth if it is not a save situation? What is the infield fly rule?

 

10. Share the love. Take the heat. If the project is a smashing success, it was because of the little people who busted their humps to make it happen. If things went the other way, well then, the team tried its best. It’s true that “There is no ‘I’ in team,” but there is no “them” in it, either.

 

So, when the dust clears and the project is online and running, and you walk away and the operators are asking, “Who was that guy?” remember that if you have done your job well, your reward will be forthcoming. You’ll get to do it all over again!

 

See part 1, with hints 1-4: http://www.controleng.com/blogs/real-world-engineering/blog/ten-hints-for-successful-team-leadership-part-1/7a8b0f0ba0b046d24bcfc5f7905ce570.html

 

Also read Technical Lead as Mentor.

 

This post was written by the control engineering team at MAVERICK Technologies, a leading system integrator providing industrial automation, operational support and control systems engineering services in the manufacturing and process industries. MAVERICK delivers expertise and consulting in a wide variety of areas including industrial automation controls, distributed control systems, manufacturing execution systems, operational strategy, and business process optimization. The company provides a full range of automation and controls services – ranging from PID controller tuning and HMI programming to serving as a main automation contractor. Additionally MAVERICK offers industrial and technical staffing services, placing on-site automation, instrumentation and controls engineers. 



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Bring focus to PLC programming: 5 things to avoid in putting your system together; Managing the DCS upgrade; PLM upgrade: a step-by-step approach
Balancing the bagging triangle; PID tuning improves process efficiency; Standardizing control room HMIs
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.