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The First-Time Manager's Guide to Team Building

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The First-Time Manager's Guide to Team Building


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

How to manage your first team-leader assignment like a battle-tested veteran.

Editorial Rating



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Every team manager approaches a new assignment with some nervous energy. First-time managers are often just plain nervous. Gary Topchik helps rookie team leaders with the basic information they need to make their first assignments successful. The chapters are brief and tightly focused on a single topic. The writing flows conversationally, and includes helpful lists, step-by-step instructions and some illustrative stories. The tone focuses on positive advice rather than possible mistakes. For such a brief book, the author covers a surprising range of helpful topics. getAbstract advises captains on their maiden voyages to stow this guide in their kits.


Building the Team

If you asked proficient businesspeople to name the five reasons that their best team experiences worked so well, their lists would probably include these factors:

  1. “Clearly defined roles and responsibilities for each team member.”
  2. “Open and honest communication among team members, and between the manager and team.”
  3. “A supportive and knowledgeable manager.”
  4. “Ability to make decisions freely.”
  5. “Rewards and recognition” for meeting or exceeding goals.

As a first-time manager (or even a seasoned one), ask yourself if you see these characteristics in your team. If not, how can you foster them and use them to strengthen your squad?

Not every set of people working together is a team. A team is a defined group of individuals who work together toward a specific, shared objective. The team should consist of people whose combined talents contribute to the completion of that target. Teams require between five and 10 members, so they are big enough to include all the talents and skills needed to meet their goals, but not so big that they tend to divide instinctively...

About the Author

Gary S. Topchik is the CEO of a consulting firm that focuses on management, leadership, and team building. He is the author of several books on management, including Managing Workplace Negativity and The Accidental Manager.

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