How to Lead the Team You Inherit

Leadership is not always the easiest of tasks, and this is apparent everywhere. Leaders can form their teams and work with them, but what happens when you have to inherit a team? What steps will you take when a team is thrust upon you, and it is not the one you created on your own? The good news here is that there are steps you can take to lead this team excellently even if it so happens that you inherited it. 

Assessing the Team

The first step that has to be taken is to assess the team itself. This will allow you to have a perfect understanding of the composition of the team itself. You also get to comprehend the strengths and extent of the team. You can speed up this process by clearly outlining your parameters, goals and criteria as their leader. Assessing the overall skills of the members of the group is a result-oriented way of getting things done. 

Carrying out an immediate assessment of the team will also allow you to understand those you are working with. It will also allow you to realize the gaps and what needs to be done to fill these gaps or inadequacies. You get to improve engagement with team members and set the pace for what is to come later on. 

You must make it very clear what your criteria will be regarding the business or project. As a leader, you have to set the vision and roadmap while the others will just follow. To succeed, you will need to identify those who are most likely to understand your mission and do everything possible to ensure that you grow as a leader. 

Determine the Strategy

You have to outline the strategy to be used once you have been able to assess everyone in the team properly. By determining the process, you are automatically setting the pace for others to follow, but you are also making things easy for yourself as a leader. You need to know whether the team will work in collaboration as a unit or if everyone is going to work independently. The pattern that you adopt should be one that will assist you in achieving the set goals for the venture. 

The strategy that you go for will go a long way in determining how your team will function. It will also reflect the importance you have placed on teamwork. Your job as a leader is to ensure that people work together and efficiently as a team. Your strategy will include the tasks that each team member has to carry out and precisely how to go about it all. 

The success of a team depends significantly on how much it can operate and function as a unit. You have to spell out the vision for the whole group, then everyone gets to follow your path. Leadership means you have to clarify the strategy for everyone. You have no other choice but to be a functional leader – one who acts as a guide and a compass. 

Utilize the Reward System

It is expected that in every team, members are going to contribute differently. Some members will always go the extra mile to ensure that the goals are achieved. Some other members will not do as such.

This is why you must make use of the reward system. You have to appreciate and recognize the team members’ efforts who are working excellently for the greater good. You can give them rewards and extra perks in the form of promotion, awards, prizes, or anything that shows that you value their hard work. This is not just going to motivate them to keep doing better, it will also trigger others also to step up their game. 

Communicate and Interact

If you decide to be an aloof leader with the new team that you inherit, you will not record much success. You have to be approachable as a leader and there is no better way to get this done than by remaining open with your team members. Make it a habit to communicate and interact regularly with them.

By having regular sessions of communication and interactions with your team members, you are going to let them know you value their opinions. You also have the opportunity to communicate and explain your vision to them. They have the same opportunity to tell you what they think and even offer ideas on achieving the organization’s goals. 


It is never an easy task being a leader, and it can be more challenging if it has to do with a team that you inherited. It is less stressful if it is a team that you formed on your own because you are more familiar with the members and the vision. However, as you have seen in the piece, there are still steps that you can take to ensure that you can successfully lead a team that you have inherited from others. 

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