Manage Promises, Not People.

Leaders take responsibility for the results of the group and are accountable for all of it. They need to manage the accountabilities of each team member. Manage accountabilities, not personalities. 

Three tips for managing a large event or effort.


Divide and Conquer.

Divide or group tasks into subject areas. For example, some of the areas I manage for Camp ASAP are individual art pieces, lounge, sound, bar, transportation, kitchen, set-up/break-down, and LNT. For events, areas might include permits/insurance, budget/finance, food/drink, entertainment, set-up/break-down, and post-event. The areas will vary based on the kind of event you are organizing.

Start by roughing out a list of tasks. You’ll probably miss a lot of tasks the first time running through a project, but still touch on each of the areas.

Pick Your “A” Team.

Once you’ve determined the areas you need to manage to produce the result you’re out to accomplish, you need find your team leaders. These are the people who are essentially doing the same kind of management tasks as you, but for one team instead of say, six. These people need to be leaders in their own right, able to communicate and track with you and their team members. 

Empower Your Team.

Once you have someone who has agreed to be accountable for each area, ask them to fill their teams so that they are not playing alone in their accountability. This will also help when communicating with the larger team as a whole. If there is just one person accountable for an area and they are missing, for whatever reason, you are without that information. The larger team then lacks integrity. 

Then you are literally organizing information. Listening to what each team has to say. Hearing their questions. Coordinating efforts and facilitating the asking and answering of questions between teams. 

The secret though, is that you are not managing the people. You are managing their accountability. For example, I’m not managing Sue. Sue is accountable for the Bar. Ideally, she has a team to support her, but she’s accountable. She speaks for the Bar. When I’m speaking to Susie inside the context of Event Organizer, I’m speaking to the accountability of the Bar. There’s no room for Dawn or Susie. It’s just Event Organizer speaking to Bar. Follow? 

A Leader holds space for the collective vision/outcome/dream, and allows for others to show up as leaders in their space as well. 

D. Sardinas

As the leader, I can’t blame anyone on my team. It’s my job to empower and support them in fulfilling their promises. So right about now, I have some cleaning up to do.

Do you have any tips to share on managing large effort? Share ’em below!