Team Leads need to be Potion Masters

Okay, maybe it's because I just read the latest Harry Potter book, but in discussing Test Team leadership recently with someone, I used this as an analogy.

I'm always surprised to meet people who think that the stages of team development (i.e. "Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing") are some kind of kiddie joke or else they may not have heard of them at all. That's too bad. I believe that anyone who's serious about team leadership/management should take these stages very seriously.

If you are not prepared to recognise the moments when your team members start to pick each other apart or are challenging and questioning everything you do (in a bad way), then your team will never grow into a constructive, cohesive whole. As a team lead, you need to detect the poisons and provide the antidotes.

Most importantly of all, if you at least notice the poisons, but if you don't know what to do then ASK FOR HELP!! I'm tired of meeting people with EGOs so large that it prevents them from asking for help from others. ("Pride" is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, isn't it?) If you had seen someone fall but didn't know what to do you would call an emergency number (like "911"), wouldn't you? After all, that would be the right thing to do.

So why is it different when it comes to team management? If you notice that your team is falling apart and you don't know what to do to make it better, ask for help.

The biggest problem that I've noticed in this industry is not the managers who don't ask for help though - it's the managers who don't even notice that there's a problem. I've seen many teams just completely fall apart because the team members picked each other apart by getting on each others' nerves right in front of an oblivious team lead/manager.

Perhaps there's only a certain type of person who makes a good manager. Perhaps there's something in the MBTI that correlates with the traits of a good leader or manager. Perhaps I'll have a chance to look into this some more in the near future. Something to think about.

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