“First team” or “team number one” is the team you report into.

This distinction matters for anyone in the management hierarchy—the default interpretation of which team a manager is on would be the team that reports to them, but in reality it is the team their own manager manages. Realizing this and shifting mindset of where one’s first obligations lie allows the higher concepts of the organization to be prioritized.rL1 Management is a liminal role, and first team is what gives them the external perspective. It’s one of the ways managers understand the global context to bring to the reporting team.

Engineering managers many need to figure out first team responsibilities together.

  1. Patrick Lencioni, The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business, 1st ed (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2012). (See notes.)