At various points in your career, others will likely call upon you to lead a team in an effort to accomplish a specific goal. Your team’s goal might represent a major endeavor, such as a fundraising effort to construct a new building. In other instances, you may be tasked with accomplishing a more modest goal like organizing a department party or selecting a new vendor for your office supplies. Some of your teams may have a lifespan of a few months, whereas others may stay together for several years.
Regardless of the team’s specific objectives, certain skills and principles can help you, as a leader, ensure that the team carries out its tasks with effectiveness while simultaneously encouraging them to maintain their enthusiasm for the work that needs to be done.
In their book Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development, Fifth Edition, Robert N. Lussier and Christopher F. Achua share several points that outline the team leader’s role in creating and developing effective teams. If you wish to raise your effectiveness as a team leader, review this list, and consider what additional actions you could take in order to increase your success:
- Emphasize group recognition and rewards.
- Identify and build on the team’s strengths.
- Develop trust and a norm of teamwork.
- Develop the team’s capabilities to anticipate and deal with change effectively.
- Empower teams to accomplish their work with minimal interference.
- Inspire and motivate teams toward higher levels of performance.
- Recognize individual and team needs and attend to them in a timely fashion.
- Encourage and support team decisions.
- Provide teams with challenging and motivating work. (288)
Reference: Lussier, Robert N. and Achua, Christopher F. 2013. Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development, 5th ed. Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning.
Have you successfully led a team in your workplace, your community, or another organization? What advice would you give to someone who is just starting to build a team? Share your tips below.