About Serve the Team
The world isn't short of books about management. The shelves of airport bookstores groan under their weight. Amazon stocks thousands of titles. Some of them are even worth reading.
If you're like me, even the best books will end up gathering dust on your own bookshelves. Read once and set aside, with their advice half forgotten.
That's a shame. All of us managers could use some help, some good advice, some new ideas, some practice. Bad management makes people miserable, employees and managers alike, and it stops individuals and organisations from reaching their potential. Wouldn't it be great to change that?
That's where Serve The Team comes in. Bitesize, carefully curated and actionable advice, delivered to your inbox every Monday morning. Practicing your skills in a focused way, every week, will help you be a better boss.
Who writes Serve the Team?
I'm Steve. I first managed a team at the tender age of 23. I'd just moved from the UK to USA to start a new role. I'd got a bit of business experience under my belt, but nowhere near as much as I needed, despite what I thought at the time. I was in at the deep end.
I got some formal training when I started, but - aside from some really helpful coaching and mentoring along the way - there wasn't much to help me lock in good practices and approaches day-to-day. My team ended up bearing the brunt of my inexperience.
Fast forward fifteen years, and I'm back in the UK. I've been leading teams ever since, and I've learned a huge amount. I don't think I'm a bad boss, although I could certainly be a better one. I started writing Serve The Team to help myself. I wanted something that would help me practice my leadership skills every week, regardless of what was going on in the office.
I ended up thinking that what I was writing might be useful for others too. The challenges I faced as a new manager still face many new managers today. Promoted because of their success in a non-management role, in at the deep end. And I still see more seasoned managers struggling too. Management is hard, and we could all use some ongoing advice and support.
Why Serve the Team?
I firmly believe that leaders are only as good as their teams. You might be a brilliant individual contributor, but if you can’t engage, motivate and drive your team then you’ll be an ineffective leader.
You can’t lead a team just by telling everyone what to do. Not only are there not enough hours in the day, but if you demand people just follow orders then you miss out on their individual brilliance: their insights, their ideas, their creativity. You also rob them of the chance to learn and improve, which means that your team will never get better at what it does.
The best leaders recognise that you get the most out of a team by serving its needs. They give direction but they share why the work’s important; they help the team develop their skills; they coach them when they miss the mark. Fundamentally, they recognise that their success comes from their teams, not from themselves, and they spend their time and energy accordingly.