Leading when you have no idea what is going on (yet!)

Are you a new line manager and don’t quite get what your team is doing all day?

If yes, then this learning note is for you!  It will provide you with some great tips for helping you overcome imposter syndrome and the sheer panic of managing technical people when you’re not really sure you’ll understand what they do.

Key Learning Points

  • adopt a curious mind
  • accept even through you’re a boss you’re a beginning again
  • enquire
  • be humble
  • don’t tell
  • make of  point of speaking to everyone individually
  • don’t put too much pressure on yourself to ‘get it’ straight away
  • take advice from peers
  • listen

Be open to being a learner who is also leading.

Prompts
Use the prompts to help ask great questions and find out more information when meeting with your team:

  • what is your greatest challenge getting your everyday job done?
  • what skills make someone good in this role?
  • why do you like your role?
  • what would make your role easier?
  • what do you need form your boss?
  • what do you not need?
  • what resources could I read/watch/listen to learn more?
  • is there a meet up group that you go to – could I come along?
  • if you do read articles they send you, make sure to take notes on any questions you have and then go and speak with your staff members and get them to help you understand further – this will make them feel valued, heard, supported and empathised with
  • if you are working with introverted people, make sure this is always 1:1 and in a meeting room or desk (if this is reasonably private) if possible to help them feel like they are in a safe space
  • thank your team for their time but don’t make a too much of a big deal out of it

What will you do today to learn what your team does?
I’d love to hear from you, What will you do today to learn what your team does?

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Leading your team to feel super safe to super fail a lot

Is your team leading the way?

Is your team disrupting or being disrupted?

If yes, then this learning note is for you!  It will provide you with some great tips for inspiring your team to take more risks, disrupt more, be open to failure and learning?

Key Learning Points

  • nurture talent
  • nurture ideas and change
  • create safety nets
  • encourage
  • focus on learning and achievement
  • create a sense of purpose
  • let go of old stories of punishment
  • create new stories of how failure will be responded to

Fail, fail, fail and then learn!

Failure is the only option when first trying to create something truly awesome!

Learning Prompts

Ask yourself (and your team):

  • What would you like to brainstorm?
  • What other ideas do you have?
  • What does experience teach your about this change / new idea?
  • What does your inner wisdom say about it?
  • How you can unlock that learning?
  • What story are you telling that is holding your team back?
  • What could a new story look like?
  • What needs to change to make this story a reality?
  • What words would you like to use less of to describe your team? (i.e.: ‘dead wood’, ‘cut the fat’, ‘idiots’, ‘lazy’, etc)
  • What words could use more of? (i.e.: ‘untapped talent’, ‘hidden gems’, ‘stars in the making’, ‘genius’, ‘inspired’, ‘open’, ‘fun’, ‘energised’)
  • What would you like to be known for as a team?
  • What behaviours do you want to be known for?

What will you do today to make failure an option?
I’d love to hear from you, how do you encourage your team to take risks and deal with failure positively?

Let me know by commenting here. I love hearing your ideas and read every comment.

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Leading your team to be so much more creative

Is your team closed to new ideas?

Is your team resistant to change?

If yes, then this learning note is for you!  It will provide you with some great tips for inspiring your team to be more open, creative and welcoming of change.

Key Learning Points

  • create openness
  • encourage positive behaviours
  • lead with a clear purpose

Lead, inspire, lead some more.

Give it everything you have.

Learning Prompts

Ask yourself:

  • Can you listen more and speak less? 
  • If your team could choose anything, what would it be?
  • Can you see any gaps in your own thinking?
  • What is possible for your team now? 
  • What would give your team the most joy?
  • What is your vision?
  • What is the greater purpose behind your team’s journey?
  • How can you adopt a beginner’s mindset?
  • How can you support my team to do the same?

What will you do today to create openness? 


I’d love to hear from you, how do you encourage your team to be open?  What is your biggest takeaway?  What advice do you wish you had when you first became a leader to help your team be more open?

Let me know by commenting right here. I love to hear all of your comments, they inspire and motivate, so please share any thoughts you have 🙂

For extra reading, I recommend reading Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki.

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