How to Lead the Happiest Teams with 5 Simple yet Powerful Rules

Rule #1: Be Transparent

Most disagreements arise from the fact that people do not have the same context and information available. Management tries to steer the company based on the consolidated information they have available while front-line employees have first hand knowledge of all the details affecting their product and customers.

Rule #2: Hire Only Great People

Hire only humble, ethical and sincere people that show a solid combination of determination and raw ability. Experience is much less important than the above. A mix of different characters is also important to have. Some people are going to be introverts others extroverts, some are going to be more like you and others completely different but all of them can do great work in their own way as long as they are down to earth, open to feedback and nice to others. Don’t compromise character and company culture for an impressive CV or an urgent staffing need.

Rule #3: Lots of Laughs

Create a fun, friendly, and open environment where people can be themselves. If people do not laugh a lot around the office, your company is in trouble. We spend way too much time at work for it not to be fun. Do not take yourself too seriously. For example, when we say something that reminds us any silly or horribly cheesy song, we play the “Crappy Song of the Day” that is both funny and it reminds people that we should not take ourselves too seriously. Respect is not just about how we act and the way we talk to each other, it is about accepting the other person for who they are and about celebrating our differences.

Rule #4: Celebrate Learnings Not Results

Make your team feel at ease with making mistakes and taking appropriate risks. In order to move quickly, you need to take risks that are comparable to the marginal gain of moving quickly. Explain to them that the goal is to move on average on a positive direction with maximum speed. You are not aiming for perfection you are aiming for speed and best effort.

Rule #5: Above All a Mentor — Not Just a Manager

Develop people and help them grow even outside of your company or team. Even if in the worst case your team or company cannot support the growth of an individual or even there is a mismatch between their preferences and company needs, make sure you guide them to a role that will allow them to continue growing even if that means leaving the company. They will surely deliver 100% of their abilities until their last day and others in the team will step up to cover the gap. Your number one goal as a people manager should be to hire great people and help them grow professionally. You should measure churn as someone getting fired or quitting without you having helped them get their next great role. Maybe in a few years you will get the opportunity to work with them again or even collaborate in a client — vendor relationship. If you care more about your employees’ success than you do about your short term business goals, you will end up maximising your company’s value in the long term.

Summary

I bet you have noticed a pattern here. Trust is the key to building happy and successful teams. To build trust, you need to be transparent with people, you need people who are able to trust others and be trusted, you need to encourage humour and laughter which releases oxytocin which in turn helps build trust, you need to encourage people to make mistakes and learn from them without fear or judgment, and you need to treat people in a way that helps them feel secure about their future be it in your company or elsewhere.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Vasilis Danias

Vasilis Danias

Co-founder & CEO of Bitloops. Very interested in software engineering and software architecture. The main proponent of the Picoservices Architecture.