Leading teams – 101

Cutting to the chase, I have led teams in big companies, in volatile emotional environments and  in stressful conditions at sea. And I thought that was leadership.

Later I realised that Leadership is not when people are paid to follow you but when they quit well paying jobs to come follow you. But here is the  kicker, as I understood the hard way, when they start following you is when the work has really begun.

About two years ago, the very first team I put together failed. Broke up within a year.

But part of running a startup as a 25 year old, is you develop two very rare traits – robustness and resilience.

I understood a few key things from the episode that is a constant reminder as to how I will put together teams in the future.

  • People will always and inevitably have their own agenda.**

  • Recruiting for a single world-class strength than a ‘well balanced team mate’#

  • When no real challenge faces us, lethargy sets in. Always be uncomfortable , set unrealistic targets, push people in good spirit, hold them accountable at all and any cost;  but most importantly, make sure they grow.

  • Personalise the dream. Eyeball to Eyeball.##

  • The brilliance of the startup life is that no amount of eloquence or talk can explain away a failure in the market. Walk the talk. Promise the team milestones as the leader and deliver on those.

These are some hard learnt lessons that I did on the field. Although I am not saying I have mastered all these aspects, I am pretty sure I have recognised the aspects I have to master and as they say, I am confident that recognition is half the battle.


**No matter how highly aligned and motivated they are by the vision. It is only a minor percentage of their true motivation. Every individual ( including the founders) have their own personal agendas as to what they want from the startup. YOU NEED TO APPEAL TO THOSE AGENDA TOO.

#Weaknesses can be overcome by other team mates. World class strengths cannot be replicated or groomed.

## Dreams have to connect emotionally. If you find some one in the team can’t or is not emotionally connected to your dream. Cull. Be decisive , swift and move forward on this.

About V

Tried building a sky scrapper. Now Re-building it again with worn out tools.
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