Running a Team

7 Jan 2018

Running a team is a primary capability that you need to build in a growing company where you will start and run a team, then teams of teams, then teams of teams of teams…you get the picture.

This is how I think about running my team at Yoco, my first time. I’ve done this once, so I’m interested to see how this evolves.

Advice I’ve seen over and over again for people and companies has been to increase ambition, set the right next steps and enforce high standards. I think this advice is contained and translated in this framework.

I certainly didn’t perfect the execution of this, but I found it useful to fallback on.

The basic framework I used has 3 parts:

— Focus

— Momentum

— Manner

I borrowed Focus and Momentum from Sam Altman( and added Manner from Patrick Collison( later.


Drive Focus through vision, prioritisation and output clarity.

Drive Momentum with ambition, work-ability fit and systems.

Drive Manner with quality enforcement and role modelling.


Vision: Set a clear vision for the domain or project

Prioritisation: Have clear prioritisation of what comes next, what’s coming later. I like to also translate the priorities in terms of time spent in a week/2-week cycle.

Output Clarity:Make sure the specific metrics and output expectations are clear.


Ambition: Set the right ambition for the individual and team.

Work-Ability Fit: Match the amount and type of work to the capacity and strengths of your people.

Systems: Improve the system by creating best practice, automating work and improving the strengths and skills of the people.


Quality: Show your team the quality you expect, then audit and feedback on the quality of their outputs.

Behaviour: Role-play the behaviours you’d like the team follow, how they act towards others, themselves and their work.