TeamGantt Leadership Lessons: Empowering your Team to Do More With Less

Are you looking for new ideas to inspire your team? You are in luck! We are taking a page out of history (ours) and sharing the lessons we have learned in building TeamGantt from scratch.
We’ve grown from a small startup to a multimillion dollar company with thousands of customers, and 20 remote employees since TeamGantt was launched in 2010. We did it without investors, and not near Silicon Valley. But we learned a lot along the way.
This 6-part series will help you, whether you are new to leadership or have been in the business for a while.
Create a team that is motivated and engaged
Increase productivity and avoid burnout
Establish trust among and with your team members
Keep growing as a leader
Let’s get started by laying the groundwork.
Why TeamGantt was funded by us
Hollywood says that you can’t launch an innovative startup without moving to Silicon Valley, where you can secure lots of investor funding.
John Correlli, Nathan Gilmore and cofounders set out to create TeamGantt in 2009. They made bold decisions: to forgo outside investors and to fund TeamGantt entirely on their own.
Why not do it all? John and Nathan wanted to be able to concentrate 100% on creating a product that people love, without worrying about investors.
John explains that customers are our funding. “If you solve the customer’s problem, they will continue investing in you.”
John and Nathan learned one thing from bootstrapping TeamGantt: you don’t need to follow tradition in order to build a rockstar group. Here are two simple lessons that helped John and Nathan lead TeamGantt today.
Lesson 1: You can accomplish great things with very little resources
John and Nathan were two guys who lived in a basement in Baltimore, with no seed money. They didn’t have enough money to hire a large team or quit their jobs to start TeamGantt faster.
They made the most of what they had: 4 hours every Saturday morning.
It took patience and prioritization to make progress in such a short time frame. By focusing on one important thing each week–without getting distracted by “nice-to-haves”–John and Nathan were able to release a beta version of TeamGantt in just 6 months, with a public release 7 months later.
TeamGantt’s culture has grown with super-focus and a commitment to staying focused.
Nathan states that there will always be distractions and more areas we could explore as we add people. “We would rather do a few things well than try to do too many.”
Lesson 2: It’s okay not to conform
Most corporate circles would expect you to work 36 hours per week to be fired. Here, however, a 36-hour work week is the norm. TeamGantt is a remote company that allows us to work wherever we want.
This is all thanks to bootstrapping.
John and Nathan decided to forgo convention and build a company that they would love to work for. John and Nathan are passionate about work/life balance, so TeamGantt’s culture reflects this.
Although it might seem scary to think about working remotely and limiting your team’s hours, we wouldn’t trade it for the world. It has allowed us to access talent from all over the country. It also allows team members to wake up refreshed and work where they are most productive. That’s a win-win situation!
This is just the tip of an iceberg
These are just a few of the many things we have learned along our journey. We have a lot more to tell.
You can learn more and grow as a leader by checking out the other lessons in this series.
How to build a stronger team by hiring slowly
These are 3 simple tips to help your team achieve work-life balance
How to make your team more innovative by simplifying collaboration