Things I learnt leading a development team at an early-stage startup

For a developer who spent most of his time working with teams in well-established companies, leading a development team at an early-stage startup was a completely new experience. The journey has been challenging but also a very rewarding one. During this time I have learnt a lot and these are a few of them.

  • Adaptability: In the rapidly growing world of startups, the only constant thing is change. You have to be willing to adapt to changes quickly. This includes being open to new ideas and approaches, as well as being prepared to pivot and change course when necessary.

  • Communication: With small teams, everyone needs to be on the same page and working towards a common goal. This goes for both working within the team and also with other teams.

  • Time Management: It’s in the nature of a startup to be working on multiple things at the same time. With competing priorities and the limited amount of time to get things done it’s very important that everything is planned out to the smallest detail to make the most out of your time.

  • Collaboration: Collaboration is key to a successful team. Everyone has to work together and support each other to succeed. This means being open to feedback and ideas from others, and willing to work as a team to achieve the bigger goal at hand.

  • Learning for Mistakes: No matter how much you try to achieve the goals you will inevitably make mistakes. It’s very important to learn from these mistakes, grow and keep pushing forward.

  • Importance of Deligation: As the lead, it is very tempting to try and take on everything yourself. However, this can lead to burnout and a lack of growth for other team members. It is important to delegate tasks to your team and trust them to complete them to the best of their ability. This allows everyone to grow and become more skilled in their roles.

  • Value of Diversity: Diversity is very important as having different skills and backgrounds in the team can work great to your advantage and bring a new perspective and ideas to the table.

  • Self-Care: Leading a team can be very stressful, It’s important to take some time off for self-care. This will not only benefit you personally but will also help you lead the team more effectively.

In conclusion, leading a development team at an early-stage startup is a challenging yet rewarding experience. They bring along new learning which I believe will be invaluable to me as I continue to grow and develop as a leader.