Leadership 101: How to build a self-sufficient team?


If your teammates corner you with questions for every little nuisance or issue, then this article is for you.

When you are coaching a team in your workplace, you are given the responsibility for their work, performance and learning. However, the “learning” part of this equation is missed more often than not.

Even in this technologically advanced world, where 83% of the organisations believe that it is crucial to develop leaders at all levels, only 5% of the organisations have implemented processes to make it possible.

So, instead of getting stuck in the rut of being your teams’ one-man-problem-solving army, read on to build a reliable, accountable and self-sufficient team.

The beginning: Operational transition

 In a new leadership role, there are four essential stages of managing your team:

  • The first stage is the autocratic style where you tend to know more about the business and this is why you delegate and tell your team how something has to be done. It should be a small phase until the team learns the basics.
  • As people start learning more they are given more responsibilities under direct supervision. The second stage is when you give your teammates more freedom to apply themselves and encourage two-way communication.
  • In the third stage, the initial leader takes the backseat and plays the role of a coordinator between others. People start taking more responsibility for their work and feel more empowered and accountable for their work.
  • The last stage is where the leaders can easily take a vacation without having to worry about work. This can be a difficult transition. At this stage, the entire team completes their targets, tackles complex problems on their own, is more intrinsically motivated and self-sufficient

While leading a team, transitioning between these 4 stages will not only help you in building a strong team but it will also help you in shaping up future leaders. Also, learning of these stages can help you document and streamline your processes.

The middle: Technological help

In this fast-paced world where every aspect of life is overpowered with technology, every team must be equipped with the tools that help them in achieving self-sufficiency.

The key is to have such technology in place which is transparent, allows easy communication and can be tracked.

For example, team management platforms like the following make it possible for teams to communicate without the need for supervision and delegation.

  • Trello: This work delegation software gives leaders and managers the flexibility and traceability they need. Employees can be grouped and managed according to their teams or projects.
  • HuddleBoard: This online software gives employees a channel to communicate and collaborate effectively for work. With features like conferencing, interactive whiteboard and online chatting, HuddleBoard puts together almost all the functionality required for good team management.
  • Google Drive: Google drive is not a new name in any work arena. People use it to safely store their files. However, with its members and permission managing capabilities, this platform can be used for much more.

Apart from these few instances, there is an ocean of specific technologies available for any cause you might have. All you need to do is research and find the right mix for your team.

The end: Coordination

 It’s true that training of employees is a better way for them to learn but the best way is still allowing them to exercise their learnings.

As they learn and grow in their roles, you will have suggestions and corrections to make. So make a list of attributes that you would like to alter and review your team members one-on-one at regular intervals.

These points might help you in doing that:

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of each employee?
  • Which behaviours of your teammates you would like to change?
  • What should each person do to be more self-reliant?
  • If there is something that they need help with, from you or anyone else?


Bringing your team to autopilot might seem difficult right now because as humans we all tend to manage things closely when it comes to our work. However, for a growing business, it is crucial to building a capable organisation.

So, as your team start the transition from the initial stage to the next, as a leader, your job is to enable them.