Getting The Most Out of You and Your Team

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Dec12Panel2FountainBlue’s December 12 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series event was on the topic of Getting the Most Out of You and Your Team. Below are notes from the conversation.

We were fortunate to have impassioned, articulate and inspiring speakers on our panel, representing a range of perspectives and approaches to the leadership and management of teams. They represent different backgrounds and career paths, different styles and experiences, yet they had much in common:

  • They did not necessary plan to be managers or leaders, yet they figured out how to successful lead and manage, and discovered that working with a team helps people achieve more than they could as an individual contributor, no matter how brilliant they were in that role.
  • They always put their team first, and took the time to build relationships, understand the needs of the people they work with, and advocate for the support and resources so that each member and the whole team succeeds.
  • They understand their own strengths and weaknesses and that of their team members, and worked with their teams so that they collaboratively deliver results.

Below is advice offered by this wise and experienced panel:

  • Develop your learnings and expertise – there is no substitute. It will help you be confident and persistent and garner the respect and admiration of the right people.
  • Help set the direction and priorities, and let your team members figure out how they can deliver on it. Separating the what and the how helps leaders go from good to great.
  • Trust your team to deliver. And respond appropriate if they do or do not.
  • Raise the bar high and give people stretch goals to keep them motivated, committed and connected.
  • Be positive and transparent and authentic in your communications – it’s all about relationships.
  • Walk the talk and model the way – show others how they can be proactive and productive despite challenging situations.
  • Really care about each team member, in thoughts and words and actions. Be compassionate and flexible, especially with your high-performers.
  • Share the credit for success, accept the responsibility for challenges.
  • Find the support you need so you can focus on the larger picture. Mentors and sponsors can help to do that. Having support at many levels will help you think through the problems you’re facing and the options for resolving those issues.
  • Give people on your team the opportunities to grow and lead and stretch.
  • Establish, communicate, respond to ground rules. The team should know why they are there and what the consequences are for breaking them.
  • It’s not so much about gender or style or knowledge, but about what you do and what results you provide. Focus on the tasks at hand and why you’re doing what with whom, and the other stuff will take care of themselves.

The bottom line is to be open to and prepared for change – for yourself and for members of your team. Change is not personal but happens to a company all the time, especially in industries that are fast-moving like tech! Help your people to respond proactively and positively to changes.

And in order to lead through change managers and leaders must be likable – the kind of authentic, transparent and trustworthy leaders who put others in their thoughts, speak clearly of their intentions and follow through on their projects and programs, delivering tangible results.


Please join us in thanking our gracious hosts at Applied Materials, our partners at UCSC Extension, and our panelists for FountainBlue’s December 12 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series event, on the topic of Getting the Most Out of You and Your Team:

Facilitator Christina Trampota, Managing Partner, CGM Squared

Panelist Azlina Ahmad, Sr. Director of Engineering, Violin Memory

Panelist Chunshi Cui, Business Development Director, Dielectric CVD Division, Applied Materials

Panelist Kamini Dandapani, Director of Engineering, LinkedIn

Panelist Lakshimi Duraivenkatesh, Director of Engineering, Retail Promotions Platform, eBay Inc

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