Do you want to successfully lead cross-functional teams? I've done it, and here are the top 3 skills you should have:
1. Troubleshooting: A leader needs to be able to help determine under which area a problem falls. For example, if the team is not sure if a drop in sales is due to a sales problem or a marketing problem, then the leader can help the team devise tests that the market-oriented team member and sales-oriented member can apply to determine who should have ownership of the issue.
2. Communication: A cross functional leader needs to be able to understand and translate the language of different areas. For example, if a programmer on the team explains an issue to a marketer in technical jargon, causing confusion, the leader needs to step in and translate it from technical into marketing lingo.
3. Agility: A cross functional leader has to be comfortable pivoting his/her team, as information and situations change. For example, an issue might appear to being caused by a marketing problem but, as the team starts investigating, it becomes clear that it is caused by faulty customer-relation software, then the leader must get the team to pivot the issue to it's technical members.
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