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Manage Leadership Team


Running a healthy studio is a project in itself. You are working with multiple leads, guiding teams through the process, making sure events are well executed, and updating the network about your accomplishments. With so many things going on, it’s important for you to check-in with your other leads to see how the whole team can support each other and keep everyone excited to use design innovation for social good.

Output: Everyone is on the same page about next steps, roadblocks addressed, tweaks made as needed.

Effective ways to manage leadership team:

  1. Have everyone bring a quick status report on the goals they have been working towards.
  2. Meet as a group to see how everyone is doing!
    • Everyone should feel comfortable sharing the progress even if they feel like they aren’t doing well. Ask everyone to provide constructive feedback on others work and ask for help if there is too much work or other non-DFA responsibilities are getting in the way!
  3. Celebrate accomplishments and provide help for those who need it.
    • Congratulate folks who are on a roll see if there is anything they need to maintain their momentum.
    • For those who need some support, help them define next steps and find the support or resources they need.
    • If you see that a lead is facing a tricky roadblock, have a 1-1 check-in to talk in detail about the situation and help set next steps. This check-in can be formal or informal.
  4. Set goals to reach before the next leadership team check-in.
    • Make sure everyone are in agreement with the goal and knows the next check-in time (*regular meeting times are ideal).
  5. If you are finding leads that feel like there’s too much to do, don’t show up to meetings, feel burnt out, read here for tips on overcoming roadblocks in a leadership team.

Network Best Practices

Build efficient check-ins into your weekly leadership meeting like DFA Northwestern

At DFA Northwestern’s leadership meeting, the agenda builds in time for each lead to give a status report and ask for support. Compiling their meeting agendas over the past year, the leads have found that the most successful meeting follow this structure:

    1. Announce goals for the day’s meeting
    2. General announcements and upcoming things to be aware of
    3. Quick overview of what everyone is working on
    4. Status report from each lead & time to ask for support/questions
    5. Concrete next steps for each role
    6. Takeaways from meeting and set goals for next meeting