Success Stories

Field Services Operations Manager

FIRST LESSONS IN LEADERSHIP

After 12 months in post, managing a team of engineers throughout the country wasn’t getting any easier. Having been promoted from within the company this team leader hadn’t yet stepped into a leadership role. He felt he had a lot to offer but currently he was struggling to do a good job.

He felt overwhelmed by the demands of his team and didn’t know which tasks he should attend to first. Additionally, he didn’t feel comfortable directing the team or holding them accountable for the quality of their work. He wasn’t enjoying his job anymore and his family resented him working evenings and weekends.

It’s not unusual for managers to reach senior positions without learning to leverage their time. So this is where we started: developing simple yet effective steps for managing time. We began by identifying the important activities which made up his role over a 12 month period, then looked at how much time he needed to spend on each, if he was to achieve his objectives. From there he could define what he had to do each quarter, each month and then weekly. The next step was to learn how to use a daily ‘to do’ list, keeping it realistic and flexible because something unexpected would always come up.

Once the system is in place, it is self-discipline that keeps it working. Sticking to this process wasn’t easy but, with time, the team leader got to grips with it and started to notice the benefits – less stress, better sleep, fewer evenings and weekends spent catching up with work, and more time for the family.

Managing the team was more of a challenge, especially the ‘stronger, more vocal characters’. However, with the right tools and practice, delegation started to get easier. Using the Will/Skill matrix he learned how to select the right person for the task, and how to brief them and provide clarity on what was expected, by when and what the output should look like. Also, he found that properly preparing for meetings led to successful outcomes, which in turn helped build both his capability and confidence. He began to feel more comfortable about giving directions and having difficult conversations, which previously he would have avoided.

His team began to have confidence in his leadership. They noticed he was following through on decisions and was giving more attention to handling their queries and requests. The team decided to set aside a day each week to deal with people issues and the team leader made time to meet with the engineers one-to-one more regularly. He also learned to be less worried about keeping people happy and focused instead on fostering their effectiveness.

Success Story Profile

Leadership Level

Team Leader

Programme Duration

7 months

Key Outcomes

  • Delegating and holding people accountable
  • Improved effectiveness on the job
  • Increased capability and confidence

more stories like this

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  • Your objectives for the next 12-24 months
  • The most important and challenging aspects of these objectives
  • What it would be most important for your part of the organisation to get better at, in order to achieve fully the business objectives.

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