Update: Dustin now leads a slightly larger team of social media strategists at 212 Media Studios. He has also moved into a role as the Senior Marketing Strategist to accompany his social media responsibilities. If you are interested in asking Dustin more questions you can contact him here. Are you looking for a partner to manage your marketing? Consider working with us at 212 Media Studios. We specialize in strategic digital marketing plans and have years of experience with healthcare, technology, agriculture, higher education, and non-profit organizations.

I recently became the director of the social media team here at 212 Media Studios. I admit I am excited to be in this role, especially with the future growth potential of the social media team and the company as a whole.

While doing some reading on leadership, I came across an article on suite101.com that grabbed my attention. It shared ten tips for leading small teams to success, and I couldn’t help but realize how perfectly they aligned with my leadership strategy.

Keeping things in perspective, right now my team is small. Very small. In fact, it consists of myself and one other staff member.  (That’s right, a huge team of two.) However, I fully intend for this team to grow, and I want to establish an excellent team atmosphere, an expectation for top-quality work, and a learning environment, even while it is small. A solid base is crucial for team success.

Leaders of small teams take the responsibility for both the success of the team as a whole and that of each individual member. This requires an understanding of their roles in the grand scheme of the company, excellent communication skills (which I see as good LISTENING skills, with average speaking skills), and the ability to nurture people (often allowing others to offer their experience that can contribute to the growth of the team not keeping a death grip on control).

All that being said, here is the list of 10 Tips for Effectively Leading a Small Team:

  1. Define the purpose of the team – What is it your team is responsible for completing? What goals are you trying to reach?
  2. Define each project – Let your team members know what is expected of them based on the scope of each project. This gives them a goal to reach, but also ensures they don’t go beyond what is necessary and don’t feel like they “wasted time.”
  3. Be a team player – Leaders play a vital role on their teams. It is important to work alongside your team members and avoid “being the boss” and barking orders.
  4. Keep the team focused – Focus is important if you want to attain your goals. Having fun as a team can be good and can create team loyalty, but if you as a leader don’t set mini-goals and drive the team to complete them, you will find yourself falling behind.Why Choose a Small Marketing Agency eBook
  5. Simply lead – There are two major aspects of this. You don’t do all of the work, and you don’t delegate all of the work. You simply lead by example and give others a standard to follow.
  6. Have regular team meetings – Communication is crucial to the success of your team. Meetings keep everyone up-to-date on the status of projects and any changes that may need to be implemented.
  7. Support your team – When your team gets tripped up, do they know they can look to you for leadership in resolving the situation? Always be available to answer questions and solve problems. This will build team morale and loyalty.
  8. Have a plan to resolve conflict – Sometimes people get irritated with one another. This is common when groups of people are working toward a goal together. As a leader, you need to have a plan of action in place that allows quick and effective resolution of any problems between team members.
  9. Be the point guard – In other words, be the facilitator. Be the one who sets up other people for success by getting them the ball in the right situation to score (pardon my basketball analogy). Make your team’s job easier by helping them understand their objectives and giving them a plan, then just let them work!
  10. Allow others to shine – Be a leader with the intention of letting the people around you showcase their abilities. Allow them to give advice and suggest ideas by posing questions that encourage interaction. Being a leader doesn’t mean being a know-it-all; keep learning from your team.
  11. Bonus tip: Give your team some credit and praise in front of others. Some people may find this uncomfortable, but I think that letting other people know how well your teammate is doing can really boost their self-confidence and help them maximize their performance!

The bottom line is that leading is really rewarding, especially when you see growth and improvement as your team meets deadlines. Try following these tips and see if team morale and productivity increase. I have a feeling they just might.

“A good leader inspires others to have confidence in him; a great leader inspires others to have confidence in themselves.”

Dustin Hickle
Social Media Director


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About 212 Media Studios

212 Media Studios is a full service marketing agency, based in Warsaw, IN. Providing services such as SEO, social media management, print marketing, branding, and videography, 212 Media Studios specializes in helping businesses of all sizes catapult their marketing and brand awareness to the next level. To learn more about 212 Media Studios’ services contact us with special requests or for more information.