I was assigned as a team leader for an office project . There were two developers under my command.To make the project successful I took various steps . Some of those steps didn’t prove to be effective. I’m going to point out some key mistakes of mine.
Held the wheel most of the time
I thought it would be wise to navigate the ship myself while teaching my team how to do likewise. Maybe it would have worked in some cases. But in my case it didn’t work out as well as I had expected. On the contrary it backfired.
My Crew never got the practical knowledge . When I let them take the wheel, they were at a loss in the middle of a sea. They were over whelmed. Even though I did follow a pattern in the project. Even though they did write 80% of the code. They got lost as soon as I left them to code alone. Well the best way to learn is by making mistakes. Everything I learnt was from my mistakes. I took that away from them and hence I took away their learning mechanism.
Easy way out
Funny you may think. It does sound stupid. If I don’t share my knowledge with my team, what’s the point of being the leader? Here’s the catch. I learned that solution from facing a problem and thinking about it. I had learned more than the specific problem when I was researching. But when I gave away the specific solution.
I actually stopped their thinking process. They might have come up with a better idea. But since the problem was solved, their brains lost interest about thinking about better solution as any human being would.They didn’t learn how to google for the problem. As a result when new problems came up. They were looking for my assistance instead of Google’s.
One of my most favorite ways to develop a software is to break it down to small modules as such as LEGO blocks. So that I can just plug it in into any future project. I’m a lazy programmer. I don’t want to write the same code twice.
When I assigned task for my team members I only gave them small objectives with small outcomes. I asked them to build LEGO bricks for me. They did. But they couldn’t see the bigger picture I had in my mind since I didn’t exactly share what was I going to do once I have the bricks ready. Although my plan was to make them use their own bricks and build a castle. They were at a loss when I asked them to build the castle . They went back to thinking about how to build bricks. Which they had already done with out knowing. At some point they did realized that the work was done long before. But Since I never explained the actual purpose of the bricks , They were unable to join them all together. Just because I knew what the small bricks can be used for , that doesn’t mean my team will actually be able to think that far.
Best way to learn is to learn from mistakes. Even a team leader makes mistakes. We are but human.