Maybe you don't need a team that big. (When staff leave, backfilling isn't always the answer.)

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Maybe you don’t need a team that big

“Why won’t they let us hire someone?”

Losing a team member stings.

Besides the emotional pain of feeling that someone has abandoned you, you also face a new logistical challenge of getting the work done with fewer people.

Your natural response is to try to put things back the way they were — to hire someone to take their place.

But three things are true:

1️⃣ Adding new people to a project slows it down — at least in the short term. And while we know this, it’s easy to underestimate the impact a new person actually has. You may think the tradeoff is worth it so you can be as productive as you once were. But see thing 2:

2️⃣ You may not need to produce at the same pace you once did. It’s not always true that you’re expected to do just as much work with fewer people. It may be an opportunity for creative efficiency. There may be parts of the work that don’t need to be done. It may be possible to deliver at a slower pace. Find out what the business can tolerate.

3️⃣ Business needs change, and positions on other teams may be better investments. This can be true especially when funds are limited. Don’t let your ego or turf-ism become more important than what’s best for the business.

A first-line manager who can understand, accept, and explain these truths to their team will show that they understand more about the business than just what their team does.

And showing that kind of broader business understanding can make you memorable when it’s time to be promoted to a larger sphere of influence.

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