Profile Picture

Team Leads Manual


What is this

It's the essence of how I operate as a TL.
This is not a list of rules of how I operate, but the under-current of values and thinking that guides those operations.

I am human

I am a passionate husband and father. My family is a strong focus and my inspiration. I am an introvert, a creative, a change agent, potential seeker and a servant-leader. An avid reader and struggling gamer, yeah 3 kids ;) Truly enjoy yoga!

My approach to life is guided by 5 principals (5 BE's):

  1. Be Simple - Large doors swing on small hinges (problems)
  2. Be Confident - Know you can. Trust you can. Practice so you can (attitude)
  3. Be Focused - Limit the scope to whats manageable and what produces the most immediate feedback (productivity)
  4. Be True - True To Self. True To Others. Seek truth in every situation as it's the only effective way to diagnose reality (character)
  5. Be Consistent - Habits done consistently produce effectivity (actions)

Three core values

  1. Radical Candour - caring for others requires candid communication.
  2. Mutual Purpose - manage the stories we tell ourselves about others. In conflict seek to understand your purpose and that of the other person.
  3. Psychological Safety - the effectiveness of our thinking relates to how we treat one another

How I manage

  1. I aim to set clear expectations and be direct about it's accountability. When I fail to do so adequately, please feedback.
  2. I have a natural and genuine care for those who I am responsible for.
  3. I eagerly welcome feedback with facts, examples and/or specifics. Vice versa.
  4. If it doesn't work, lets build a plan, or just get rid of it.
  5. I aim to do whats right. But sometimes right is not effective. If not harmful, do whats effective.
  6. Everyone desires to give their best and is sincere in what they are trying to communicate.
  7. "We don't click" can be an emotion based on the spiraling stories we have told ourselves. Seperate the facts from the stories.
  8. I enjoy collaboration particularly with the multiplicity and diversity of minds.
  9. If you not getting to deep work, reach out, I will do my utmost to figure out how to unblock you.
  10. I am work in progress.

Areas I'm working to improve...

  1. Switching too quickly from problem definition to problem resolution.
  2. Effecting change at a less rapid rate (at times).

Lessons Learned


  • Trying to fit in results in insecurity
  • Your relationship you have with your team mates should be without condition.
  • The opposite of collaboration is COMPETITION.
  • Rather be HARD with people than SOFT. Hard mistakes like being UNFAIR leaves responsibility with the individual to change or innovate. SOFT mistakes are unknown and thus responsibility or ownership has not transferred.
  • Trust is when a team member does what the standards define.
  • REAL Trust happens when a team member does what the standards define and comes alongside others to aid and enable (a soccer team)
  • You can't train will
  • Don't create a dependence on yourself to get things DONE. Hold people accountable. Treat them like adults.
  • Easy to care about top performers and give them special preference. But that sets a precedent.


  • For people to be willing - you have to GIVE. Don't be a TAKER.
  • Surplus in an organization results from having more GIVE than TAKE.
  • If you desire to be liked (reputation and status), the POWER dynamic of the relationship then becomes that you hand over power to that individual opening up yourself to manipulation.
  • Be you, don't try to fit in. If you fit in you will never attain that expectation. Just be YOU.
  • VALUES are a set of things that are abstractions above one's own self-interest
  • A LEADER is a higher level of thought-through maturity and action
  • As a leader you must always WTG (watch the game)
  • CARE = unconditional
  • CARE cannot exist without accountability
  • HOLY THREE (twine): Accountability & Trust & Courage


  • Don't use PIP to get rid of employee's. They are there to empower people.
  • PIPs need better marketing - they are a way to improve individuals, the relationship with their lead
  • To empower a team, you define STANDARDS and not BHAG (big audacious hairy goals). Goals can diminish and build a pattern of non-delivery. Failure becomes a HABIT. STANDARDS are the operating procedures, best practices etc.
  • STANDARDS are the bare minimum
  • DON'T PROMOTE. Only offer promotions.