At a past job, I started working on a team of all senior engineers and did some great work. Management recognized this and asked me to join a team of, mostly, more junior developers to help guide them (without being made a manager).
Unlike my old team, they hadn't yet established a protocol for how their code reviews or standups would work. They had no formal leadership structure, as the manager was also fairly junior. Interestingly, all 5 existing members of the new team were close friends outside of work.
I thought my job would be to write quality code that could help lead by example. But as time went on, I noticed that getting code reviews signed off by the more junior team members happened slowly, or sometimes not at all. It got to the point where they were making comments on my code that were seemly innocuous, I'd obligingly make those change, and then they'd make more suggestions, with the review never finishing because there was no protocol for that.
Over time, comments on reviews would pile up and management would get concerned that tasks were taking too long. I eventually escalated up a couple of management levels and red flagged the situation to get them moving. However, I feel that this was a missed opportunity to try and convince these engineers to work with me without needing to involve senior management.
Later in my career, I find myself in a similar situation. I'm again being asked to help guide a more junior team of engineers (without being made a manager) many of whom are close friends outside of working.
Since they'll be the ones approving my code reviews, I want to make sure that I can build good rapport with them. What steps should I take to accomplish this?
In the past, I've tried team lunches and team building events, but these seem to have short lived effects and don't really build the kind of team dynamic I'm looking for.