What is Team Leadership?
Team leadership refers to the processes involved in directing, coaching, evaluating, and inspiring a team toward common goals.
Success as a team leader requires not just an understanding of each team member’s unique skills and strengths, but also the ability to foster a sense of collaboration and inclusivity. This dual skill set is indispensable, whether you’re leading a team in a professional setting or steering a group project in the classroom.
What Are The Characteristics of Effective Team Leaders?
Being an effective team leader requires a variety of competencies and dispositions:
- Vision and Inspiration: Leaders are recognized by their actions. They independently or consultatively identify a vision for the future and inspire others to support it.
- Effective Communication: Using tools like Slack, Twitter, or Google Docs, leaders ensure that all team members are empowered to contribute to the evolving group vision.
- Resource Management: Besides identifying and securing personnel, effective leaders make sure their team has access to essential resources, such as books, articles, or software
- Ethical Behavior and Decision Making: Leaders inspire through ethical behavior, empowering diverse opinions, and making evidence-based decisions. They foster a culture of openness, fairness, and mutual respect within the team.
- Adaptability: Leaders are flexible, adjusting and revising visions in response to obstacles and failures.
- Creating a Meritocracy: Leaders distinguish fact from opinion and allocate credit appropriately, thereby preventing credit-hogging within the team.
- Fair Delegation and Recognition: Effective leaders not only delegate tasks judiciously but also ensure each team member’s efforts are acknowledged and appreciated.
- Task Management and Accountability: Leaders define and assign roles based on assignment requirements and team members’ strengths. They also prioritize tasks and track progress, key components of task management.
- Valuing Team Input: Good leaders are flexible enough to adjust plans based on team feedback, even if it involves complex restructuring or simple revisions.
- Decision-making with Integrity: Leaders act with integrity and fairness, always striving for what’s best for the team and the project.
- Addressing Challenges: Leaders manage challenges like a team member’s inability to complete a task or conflicts with assignment expectations, essential aspects of crisis management.
- Fostering Team Culture: Leaders set an example by being a role model of ethical behavior, instilling these values in their team members.
- Overcoming Egotistical Leadership: Effective leaders avoid narcissism, as it can disrupt team stability and cause unnecessary work. They’re open to feedback and strive for a collaborative environment where everyone can shine.
- Developing Leadership Competencies: Mastering essential competencies like performance management and conflict management helps leaders to navigate challenges and adapt smoothly.
Oliveri, M., Lawless, R., & Molloy, H. (2017). A literature review on collaborative problem solving for workforce readiness. GRE Board Research Report Series and ETS Research Report Series, 1-27. Doi:10.1002/ets12133
Workplace Bullying Institute. (2012). 2012 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey. https://workplacebullying.org/2021-wbi-survey/