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How to manage a startup team

Key principles of managing a startup team

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Leading a startup team

No man is an island. To build a successful business you need to build a team around you. Your role as a leader in a startup is to set the direction, define the milestones and metrics and ensure the flow of work. 

As a startup owner you may be unsure what you actually need to do in order to manage your team.  The list of management principles is long, but as a startup owner you don’t have the time to analyse all of them. What you need is to select only the most important ones and focus. 

Help your team work to their full potential 

Here are the three main components of the startup team management that you should focus on.

A super short guide to managing a startup team

To manage employees effectively in a new company you need: team meetings, processes, metrics and purpose. 

1. Team meetings

As communication is key to effective team work, create a plan for regular meetings. Have it set in advance to save time on planning, not to forget about it or procrastinate on it when you get very busy. 

  • Daily standups
    Ensure that everyone knows what they are doing, and has daily work goals. You as the manager need to make sure that individual members of your team aren’t stuck and have everything they need to do their job. 
  • Weekly reviews
    These meetings are to summarise major accomplishments of the week.
  • Quarterly evaluation
    Ideally, if you can afford it, organise gatherings in the form of trips away or at least away from the daily environment. This is to evaluate if your company is going in the right direction. 
  • Annual planning meetings
    This is to review the past year and plan for the coming one. 

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Team meetings that you need

2. The process flow

Describe ‘the doing’ to get clarity of what needs to get done, how do you know if it’s done and whether it’s done well.

  • Metrics
    Define what you need to measure and what are the expected results. This is crucial to set expectations for your employees and for you. Both sides need to know when the employees are doing a good job.
  • Delegate and monitor
  • Ensure the work process is flowing
    Ask your team regularly if they aren’t stuck on anything. Your role is to enable the workflow.
Facilitate, empower and lead for high performance

3. Motivation and purpose

Share your ‘why’ and excitement about the business. Communicate what you want to improve in the world to show your team the higher purpose. 

Tip: If you aren’t good at managing teams, hire someone to do it for you. 

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