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11 August 2015 @ 08:44 pm
a 400 finger team  
In March, I nominally took over a team of an unspecified number of people. The number was unspecified because it was unknown! So one of my first tasks was to figure out, based on organization and role, how many people were in what would ultimately become my team.

That number turns out to be 40, which is a lot of people! And yesterday, I took them out of the office for a day to start to build an explicit sense of team by working together to create a brand statement and some team agreements.

I've run a lot of offsites and workshops in a lot of settings and for a variety of configurations of people, but this was my first time designing, planning, organizing, and running this kind of event as the head of the team. It was interestingly basically entirely familiar and also completely strange and different. In particular, I repeatedly found myself joshing around with the team, and then having a twist of realization that, wait, I'm the boss! Which, I don't know, it's not like that changes that we're all humans together, and, yet, it also totally changes things, and in ways that are probably less perceptible to me than to others.

Forty people is a lot! I'm feeling this in a lot of ways, especially because I currently don't have enough managers in the team, so I have too many people reporting directly to me. I'm in the process of changing this, and I dearly hope to have at least two and possibly three more managers on board by the end of the year.

I've also never managed managers before! And I'm learning that that has its own challenges and pitfalls, possibly more for me than the initial transition to management.

I feel like I'm having a similar kind of fun to having kids: It's exhausting, demanding, tiring ... but there are moments of brilliant satisfaction and reward, and if I can navigate the process successfully, I'll feel like I created something amazing. But my day-to-day happiness is definitely taking a hit.

At least they haven't taken to waking me up in the middle of the night!
I'm feeling: worn
eestiplika on August 12th, 2015 07:42 am (UTC)
<3 <3 <3

This is big and wonderful and yes... hard! And there really wasn't anyone who could do it. Not like this, not like you, not as well!
veek on August 12th, 2015 01:48 pm (UTC)
Ohhhh I want to hear all the minutiae! Managing such a huge team is fascinating to me on principle; you doing it is doubly so, because I love getting glimpses of your thought process around your job.

Sympathies on the exhaustion. I can't imagine, with forty people, even if they didn't wake me up mid-night.
metaphortunate sonmetaphortunate on August 18th, 2015 05:37 am (UTC)
Wow. That sounds like a really cool professional stretch!