Bigger Team – Different Skills

Teams change all the time. People come and go, and organisations go through re-structures. We onboard, manage, lead and let go. But what do you do when your team grows bigger? Does it require a different skill?

I got inspired by Julie Zhou, VP of Design and Facebook, who published this HBR article​ and it reminded me of my time as a team leader in Hong Kong.

I moved to Hong Kong in 2010 to help a serviced office start-up grow across Asia Pacific. When I started, I had a team of 6 salespeople. We met every day to talk through our prospects and sales pipelines, and I focussed my time on helping them close deals, build strong pipelines and keep them motivated.

Within a year, the team more than doubled. It became more and more difficult to spend ample quality one-on-one time with each team member. I had to change the way I led the team and adapt my leadership style.

I still made sure I knew all my team members personally and had regular update meetings and social gatherings with them, but I had moved from being directive to orchestrating. I empowered my more senior salespeople to ‘take more junior staff under their wing’ and take on more responsibility. I still had complete oversight of what we were achieving as a team; that’s the job. I was responsible for my team’s sales performance, but I did less of the ‘doing’ and more of the ‘being’.

In 2013 I was accredited as an organisational coach. I took this course as I knew that coaching would help me empower and develop my team. I didn’t even necessarily want to become a coach; I just loved the approach. Little did I know that I was adopting ‘Leader as Coach Skills’, using a coaching approach to lead and manage people. We became the fasted growing serviced offices company in Asia, and hit our sales targets year on year.

​Today I teach leaders these skills. Of course, coaching is not the only skill you require as a leader, but it’s definitely the soft skills that matter when you are leading a growing team.

Like Julie Zhuo says:

​‘At higher levels of management, the job starts to converge regardless of background. Success becomes more about mastering a few key skills: hiring exceptional leaders, building self-reliant teams, establishing a clear vision, and communicating well. People who master those skills will be well-equipped to lead teams of any size.’

​If you want to know how I can help you and your team to adopt Leader as Coach skills, get in touch

Jessica Schubert

Jessica Schubert is a Leadership Expert, Executive Coach, Facilitator, Author and Speaker. She is obsessed with helping people realise their potential and unlock their inner genius.

Born in Cologne, Germany, Jessica has travelled the world and has spent more than 20 years leading cross-cultural teams in competitive markets throughout Europe and the Asia Pacific. As she worked with and coached her own diverse, cross-cultural teams, she came to realise that learning about yourself and developing interpersonal skills is the most powerful tool to lead and influence people around you.

In 2013 she launched Intact Teams, where she and her team have worked with thousands of leaders in organisations worldwide, delivering custom-designed leadership programs and workshops. These interactive and engaging programs are offered both virtually and in-person, helping leaders and their teams succeed in a complex and ever-changing business environment.

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Jessica Schubert