This was cross posted from Quora where I’m answering questions on design leadership.
I don’t think anything is ‘hard’ per sè. There are various challenges of running large teams and then even more for running large teams in different locations.
It all boils down to communication.
If you’re an effective leader, with solid communication skills and are focused on making your team better than you are then you’re well on your way.
Create a community
This should be the base of your role, everything stacks on top of it. Get the right balance of bringing the team together face-to-face and virtually. Make sure they’re open with their work and are also effective communicators
Your team can’t do their best work when they’re constantly embattled with silly processes
Get a seat at the table
Sell/Preach the value of your profession up the chain, these days in any organisation, design should have a seat at the table
Develop your team
To develop your team you have to know them. Know them well enough so the personal and professional development becomes easy for you to support them with.
Listen to your team
They’re on the front line, often working with other professions and personalities in multi-disciplinary teams. Support them.
Remember your role
You’re not supposed to be there until you retire. You’re there to let everyone in your team have the chance at taking your job at some point in their career.
Hope that helps. If you want to know more, send me an email.