5 Tips for Young Professionals Leading Large Teams

Before even graduating from college, Kate Gorman took her first full-time job, experienced her first IPO, and drove growth for multiple game launches at Zynga, developer of FarmVille and other popular mobile games. At age 25, she became the company’s youngest product director, leading a team of 75 employees before founding her own company, Fort Mason Games, at age 26. With that broad range of experience, Gorman is well-positioned to offer tips to young managers leading large teams. Here's how you can own your team and commandeer more authority, according to Gorman:

  1. Run no-fuss meetings. People watch you for cultural cues. If you start meetings late or recap for late arrivals, they'll come late. If you don't prepare an agenda, they'll think it's okay to be unprepared as well. Run your meetings with the type of behavior you expect from your team.
  2. Don't set goals just to set goals. KPIs can motivate employees, but never set them just for the sake of doing so—you'll incentivize them to reach goals that don't make sense for your team's overall success. Track data and metrics that indicate the long-term health of your business.
  3. Communicate across all team levels. As teams grow, it's easy to start only communicating with your direct reports. Taking the time to relay information to cross-functional teams and different levels of colleagues eliminates disconnect and aligns the whole team to the same objectives.
  4. Pre-sell innovative ideas. Business decisions, even around an amazing idea, don't happen quickly when a lot of stakeholders are involved. Plant the seeds ahead of time—talk informally with key decisions makers to learn if the idea might work or need polishing before the big meeting.
  5. Befriend other company leaders. When your team sees strong relationships with other leaders in the company, they'll know you've got a powerful backing, and they'll follow suit with their own respect. iBi

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