Developing your direct reports – it takes a village

Over the last few months , the TSYS leadership team has come into their own. I’ve been very pleased with how everything has come together.

I’ve realized that it is one of the key aspects the BoD has been helping me with. They’ve been invaluable in providing perspective , context , stories of high and low performing teams / organizations , feedback on how I’m managing managers etc.

One key thing in delegation is you have to delegate both authority and responsibility. With the orbiter demo , I laid out a clear list of high level objectives (developed in concert with the engineering team, the BoD, outside advisors) , handed it over to the team and let go. Many organizations have the project management roll up to the top level. This is a recipe for disaster. It’s a big adjustment for the dev team to actually have static deliverables. Most of the time , devs don’t really get underway on something cause they’ll get yanked around by shifting priorities.

I have removed myself from visibility into the project boards and I muted the team category in discourse. I’m only an @ mention away if I’m really needed , and my CTO and COO have a great relationship , so my COO can handle any day to day (procurement , site work like rebooting something etc).

I have learned quite a bit about management , and building effective teams over the last 7 years. I’ve made numerous mistakes , I’ve learned from them. Key is to truly delegate , be prepared for loss/mistakes/failure and to incorporate results from that into the next sprint. Deadlines are fraught with conflict. Rough guidelines and blocks of time and clear objectives are key.

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