If a group of lions is led by sheep, the lions behave like sheep. However, if a group of sheep is led by lions, the sheep will fight like lions. That is a popular leadership analogy, but I do not think it is quite right. If you have a lion leader but your sheep’s mentality is irreversible, you will never become a lion. Eventually, you will be eliminated from the group. Therefore, not only a strong leader is needed but also a team that is willing to change and can follow the leader well.
When I was asked to lead such a large-scale project, I initially only had two engineers who were experienced and had good technical skills. It also happened that there was one engineer in my previous company whose employment contract was completed and not renewed. She is a young woman who is passionate, so when I invited her to join this new team, she immediately agreed, even though she still did not have much experience and skills.
Thus, four of us began to conduct surveys and analyses while also studying existing applications and database schemas. We began by providing an overview of the applications expected by the project owner. It took three months, but we still did not have detailed information for the application, until we obtained an Excel file containing all the modules that had to be built, a total of almost 500 modules. Now, it is my part to start conducting system design and project management for the project to be completed within one year. Jack, one of my senior engineers, started conducting the database design and analysis. We do not yet have a UI/UX designer, so the front-end programmer, the girl from my previous company, also doubles as a UI/UX designer.
In addition to analysis and design, I began to build chemistry in the team. This was not too difficult because we had only four people, but they did have a good mentality and believed in my leadership. They were Jack I mentioned earlier, mastering so many programming technologies that I put him as the head of engineer and full-stack developer, Ar, with amazing back-end programming skills, and Rachel, the only woman in our team, started diving into the front end programming.
Of course, there are several people outside the technical team who also work with us, ranging from arranging meetings with stakeholders, obtaining the documents we need, and lobbying to facilitate access to existing applications. Everything synergizes so that the project can run well and smoothly.