“Manage your team” might seem clear and straightforward. Yet when we talk about it, we often find it’s not an intuitive concept for many managers and for some it even cuts against the grain of what they think they should do as bosses.
Perhaps the easiest way to explain the problem, as we’ve come to understand it, is through the phrase we used above — manage “through the team.” By that we mean you should use the social dynamics of the team to manage individual members, rather than managing members primarily one-by-one. This is a critical distinction that many managers miss. Though they extol the benefits of teamwork, they insist on managing their teams individual-by-individual. Thus, they virtually ensure that their groups will never become true teams.