All is well at my cubeland, same old work, same old talks of attrition, new faces here and there, same crib about the cafe food, and same old battles with the managers. Today that I was bored, my day went in keener observation of my fellow cubeland dwellers, and of course more into myself. Some really strange thoughts went through my mind
Teams across the companies are bound to have different characters, people with various ideologies, people with different working styles, with different levels of competency and experience, different attitudes and of course different level of tolerance. Its almost inevitable that you develop a certain level of comfort with certain people in the team, somewhere there is a match in the frequency, and you tend to form smaller groups, I know its really bad for the team that this happens, but is it something which is inevitable, bound to happen and better deal with it, kind of an issue?, or is it just an excuse which we come up when we know that we are incapable to solve the problem. I do crib some times about certain individuals in the team, somewhere, it becomes a mental block when it comes to few people, the working styles never gel, and in some cases it might be natural sense of competition, a little ego, and sometimes issues at personal level too. It kind of surprised me how easily a new person into the environment, easily finds a way into one of the groups, I mean any outsider can easily spot these groups within a team with so much of ease.
When you get to lead a team, and are provided with a big set of resources, you are bound to get people with different level of competencies, and ability to actually put in hours of work too, varies a lot. So when you really lead a team, I guess it boils down to your skill in getting work done out of not just good people, but also the slow workers, and not so capable people as well. I was thinking how far from this skill set I am. We are all at a phase where we got to start developing leadership skills, I guess its easy to do all the work yourself, and a big art to get it done out of people. Coordinating, highly competent and competitive people is also a big challenge. Any profession does have favour banks, so it becomes a big difficulty, when you transition from a team member to a team lead, you might have a lot of senior members who have huge deposits in your favour bank, so now that you are a team lead, you cannot just clear all your debts easily, you might be forced to do few things to keep your account going, in the same way, some others might have to compromise here and there. I think I am discovering how difficult it is to get the work done lately, and the worst thing one can do, is to compare the others with themselves, we tend to forget that not everyone has the same priorities and principles as you.
People management has always fascinated me, not in a sense where I want to do it, but just as a spectator, its something which has immense level of confusion and complication. The worst part of the job, according to me, is to keep everyone satisfied, you would have your own budget, not that every one can get a huge hike, all awards, all promotions, you do have limited rewards but you got to keep everyone happy. It becomes more difficult if you are handling a team with a wide range of performance, sometimes you might have to keep even a person who is working say at 40-50% of a high performer, just because, he would be still better than a new person into the team, now even the average performer would demand equal perks as a very highperformer, he not only has to reward the high performer with a bigger chunk, but also make sure the average performer does not discontinue. I don’t even want to get into contentions between two equal performers, even a slight mistake and he might end up losing both the good resources.
As I sat there in the cafe, with couple of colleagues, my mind was wandering trying to think the different roles people are playing around me, team member, team lead, team manager, so many roles, so many challenges, so many challengers.