1. You can do everything correctly and still not initially be accepted as a formal, or informal, team lead
2. Over-reliance on "what I know," history of past successes, personal charisma, strengths, etc. can be unhelpful and create unnecessary internal angst when working with a team that is going through its own turmoil and change.
3. As discussed, there are ways to lead the team forward. First, separate yourself from your own anxiety. Then: take stock of resourses available including the less than obvious resources. In the role play, you learned ways to cope:
- Don't allow frustration to build (creates stronger resistence, depletes the energy in the room, etc.)
- Don't wallow in confusion: look carefully around to take stock of resources available.
- Retreat to regroup. Carry on. By the way, excusing yourself briefly can also give the team time to self-express. If you have "people smarts" you may well find - or create - a better situation.
- Always remember that competent people may be hesitant to participate (or resist you!) because they have gotten burned before and are trying to avoid that. Those PMs who saw your beleagured "introducer" as a valuable co-leader with instant credibility reaped the value of being seen as a true team player first, and incidentally, the new leader - second.
- In the session I participated in as an executive, I worked unsuccessfully with my team for half an hour. My lesson was harsh: I needed to recognize that I was not going to be the best fit as a leader for that particular team. Tough lesson, but learning can avoid endless frustration and a failed project.