Women In Leadership: Developing Team Members


Being in a leadership role at a high-growth mode company like Searchspring provides amazing opportunities to help the business and others grow. In this environment, many opportunities are created for career advancement and to explore new career paths for those who want them and are willing to work hard.. Some of the proudest moments in my professional career have been watching others grow beyond where they thought they could be. As a woman in a leadership role within the tech industry, it is especially inspiring to see so many young women coming up in a world that has traditionally been dominated by men.

Below are few key things I think are key to developing team members to their fullest potential.

Have a plan 

Everyone should know company goals, objectives, and KPIs and they contribute. Make clear to everyone what success looks like. Lack of focus and unclear priorities results in people trying to do too much at one time and often doing none of them well.

Share the career path 

Share with team members career paths that are available. Even if roles don’t yet exist, knowing future opportunities may be created as the company grows, will motivate and drive results and personal growth.

Give people opportunities to show their potential 

It’s generally a manager’s instinct to “protect” employees from being overworked. That can actually keep people from being able to show their potential. Most want the opportunity to do more than just their defined role. They want to succeed and show others what they can contribute. Let them.

Provide guidelines that allow people to be autonomous within well-understood boundaries 

I share basic guiding principles with all my people managers. One example is act, but act with integrity and purpose. These guiding principles provide guidelines and things to think about when making decisions. I want my team to feel empowered and if they understand these boundaries, they are comfortable working autonomously.

Be there to support but don’t micromanage 

No one likes to be micromanaged. I love to collaborate with my team but I wait for them to show signs of stress or ask for help. I let them know that’s how I operate from day one so they feel comfortable asking for help when they need it – and shining on their own when they don’t.  

Empowering employees is key to their success and growth and one of the greatest pleasures of working in a leadership role.

Building a great team means enabling them to make mistakes, grow, learn, and carve out their own path to success. To do that, each individual needs to understand what success looks like for them – and you – as their leader, need to understand how to help them get there.  It’s a serious responsibility and all leaders have an obligation to guide and mentor teams to help maximize potential. 

Special thanks to our friends at Searchspring for their insights on this topic.
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Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. Starting in the early 2000s, Steve achieved eBay Power Seller status which propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. Four years later through a successful exit from that startup, he embarked on his next journey into digital strategy for direct-to-consumer brands.

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