June 15, 2024

How can you make sure that your group works seamlessly when you’re not around? How do you build a leadership team that can step into your shoes if something happens to you? asks Peter Decaprio.

1. Make the group’s objectives the leaders’ objectives

It’s easy for me to say, but it’s very hard for me to achieve. Sometimes people are called to leadership because they are talented, passionate or excellent at resolving fights. Make sure that the group’s interests are theirs as well; don’t wait until it’s too late.

2. Create an open culture of feedback and dialogue

To create a cohesive unit all members have to feel comfortable giving their opinion, but also are ready to receive it. Trust is the foundation for this dialogue, which you can only establish if you’re honest yourself and make sure that you act on any suggestions to improve your or the group’s performance.

3. Evaluate your leadership team regularly

You should never assume that people are doing input when they don’t offer it, nor should you assume that because they do give input it will be acted upon (see point 2).

4. Make sure everyone knows what is expected of them

Don’t take anything for granted just because someone worked with you before. Remember that people have different personalities, working styles, and interests so try to get into their shoes every now and then. Peter Decaprio says don’t leave people in doubt about what results are expected from them, maybe even set up some kind of contract.

5. Get the best from every team member, don’t expect miracles

You can never get everything you want from anyone, but if people feel comfortable with what you’re asking them to do they will be more likely to give it their best shot. If one person isn’t meeting your expectations try to understand why, don’t just assume that he or she is a bad apple. Try to involve everyone in the process which helps you get better results and makes it harder for anyone to justify not giving their all.

6. Be a friend before a leader

The higher your position the easier it is for you to lose touch with reality by being surrounded by sycophants who tell you how great you are. Try to be on a first-name basis with everyone, remember birthdays and celebrate together, get out of your office once in a while. You will find that people are more likely to stick around for the bad times if they feel important to you.

7. Always make yourself available

When you’re busy it’s very easy for people to feel undervalued. But also remember that sometimes people have emergencies or don’t know what is expected of them. Peter Decaprio says if they can’t talk to you because you’re unavailable they might think that there’s no point. Keep some time every day just in case someone wants to see you.

8. Acknowledge your team’s efforts publicly

If someone helped you achieve something really hard try telling others, they will appreciate it and it will make them want to help you more. It’s also a good way for people who don’t know each other to get to know one another outside of work.

9. You can’t do everything by yourself

You’re not Superman and you don’t have to be the best at everything, nor should you try to be explains Peter Decaprio. Ask for help when you need it and admit that you made a mistake if something bad happens (see point 3). Most importantly, accept advice even though you asked for it in point 2 because sometimes there are things that outsiders see but insiders don’t.

10. Always treat the group as if it were your family

Never betray trust or leave anyone behind, even people who didn’t deserve to be in the group. Remember that even if they made mistakes, so did you. It’s not about who is right or wrong, it’s about what is best for the group and how you can work together to move on.

So remember, your friends want you to win too!


When you spend more time trying to get on with your colleagues than actually getting things complete. It will affect your performance and the perception of who is doing well. It’s important to find the right balance between friendship and “workplace politics” but if you get it right you’ll be surprise at how much fun work can be!

This article is by a member of our external writing community and reflects their personal views. I’m sharing this because there were some good points. If we disagree we can agree to disagree amicably and move on, rather than argue about it endlessly. After all, there are only so many hours in each day for arguing online [I’ve deleted my contribution].

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