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First-Time Leader: Foundational Tools for Inspiring and Enabling Your New Team by Gillian Davis, George B. Bradt

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CHAPTER 9

WITH TEAMS OF LESS THAN 10 PEOPLE, ADOPT A START-UP MIND-SET

WHY THE WAY YOU LEAD TODAY IS GOING TO BE INADEQUATE TOMORROW1

Just when you think you’ve got your team and situation figured out, things change—especially when you’re growing. Leading teams of less than 10 people is different from leading teams of 10 to 30 is different again from leading teams of more than 30.

With Teams of Less Than 10 People, Adopt a Start-Up Mind-Set

If you are starting or joining a small team, lead with environment and values. The critical questions are where to play and what matters. Build everything else on these over time. Play where you can solve someone’s problem. Then assemble your early team of complementary partners. Not everyone on the team needs to have strategic, operational, and organizational strengths. But someone on the team should, and all must buy into the same values.

Devanshi Garg was a part of the founding team that led the introduction of Icreon Tech to the United States. In the team’s early days Garg acted like “we were building our founding team” even though it was part of a larger company. Her early days’ mantra was that the “first few people must fit the Icreon DNA—but with unique personality” and an ability to solve clients’ problems while being “flexible, adaptable, wearing multiple hats.”

  • Start by focusing on problem solving, values, and creating momentum.

Lead Teams of 10 to 20 Like an Extended Family

Once the team grows beyond a nuclear family with everyone ...

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