I run a team with 7 people currently working for me with another few possibly joining in the coming months.

The team naturally fit into two groups, each of which work together. Given this affinity and my desire to delegate some of  my tasks I'm thinking of appointing team leaders in each of the two groups.

Thinking so far is that the team leaders would

- plan and track  resource allocation & report this to me

- manage some of the processes we need to support

- act as an escalation point for their part of the team

They would not

- Be line managers (do annual reviews - but would contribute)

- manage any finances


Does anyone have any thoughts on

- Who I should have one-on-ones with

- How to communicate these plans

- Positioning the team leader relative to the rest of the teams in terms of seniority/first amongst equals etc

- Handling situations where a team member needs to come to me directly rather than via team leader


Any other thoughts/contributions much appreciated



jhack's picture

Don't assume that delegation requires changing any formal or informal titles (like "team leader.")  You can have someone do planning without making them a "leader."   

Have you listened to the delegation pocasts?   They have good information on how to delegate, and how to communicate the delegation to the team.   Start here:  and then follow up with these:

Consider further the skills of your people:  are they accomplished planners and project leaders?  If not, then this is a coaching opportunity.  All the more reason not to give them any title. Make it part of their career development, let them know that you want them to develop these  skills, etc.  If they are not good leaders, and want to return to individual contributor roles, there is no problem in doing so if you haven't made anything formal.  (And you may not think so, but when you tell the team or the direct that they are now the "team leader," then everyone else is going to think it's a promotion.)  


As to your questions:  

You should have O3's with everyone to whom you give an annual review.  Your new "leads" aren't ready for this yet, anyway.   

You only need to communicate the delegation, as described in the above casts.  

You don't need to "position...the team leader relative to the rest of the team..." until after they've successfully handled the delegation and you've decided that you are going to formally reorganize the group and have new roles and assignments.  You might even consider rotating your team through different responsibilities (via delegation) before choosing one to be a team leader.  

If you take the above approach, then having someone come to you directly isn't an issue.  They all still report to you, and you're doing one on ones with them, so it's OK.    

John Hack

scotlad's picture

Many thanks for the advice. A lot to think about and it does help resolve some other issues I have which I didn't mention.


Much appreciated.


tlhausmann's picture
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I would add that seven is a small group. It is easy to have O3s with everyone in the group on a weekly basis.

ashdenver's picture

I have a team of 7 and do weekly O3s with each of them.  It's only 3.5 hrs total for me and I think it's a wise investment.  (Thanks for the advice, M&M!)