Team leadership is one of the most exciting and rewarding things to lead any sort of team. Effective leadership skills are essential to succeed and help your team to move forward. Moving forward is where you should be heading as you have this team of hopefully able and willing individuals and you're on a journey together.
A common mistake that team leaders make is to assume that as the leader you are not part of the team but this mentality makes the whole team take a step backwards. Occasionally as a leader it is beneficial to take a step backwards but in this instance its a recurring step backwards and as moving forward is important you don't want to drag everyone back with you.
Choose to be part of the team and take the responsibility to be a great example to those around you. Personal Leadership is a great place to start when approaching team leadership. Read through some essential leadership tips and develop important leadership qualities.
Team leadership is much like this electric pylon pictured above. The team is like the pylon; it should be strong, upright and ready to hold a lot of substance. The task is the electricity flowing through the cables (successfully) and the people should be facilitating it running smoothly. Of course there are communication problems, confusion, people related issues and misdirection coming towards the pylon and attached to it.
Team leaders should be continually learning and growing - the best leaders go through life absorbing as much teaching and resource as possible. If you wanted to learn more and take it further you could even sign up for a leadership degree, as long as you have the time and motivation to study hard.
Team leadership is then something which is learnt rather than something that suddenly comes to you one day. We would personally say that you learn this leadership skill 30-70 ratio. The 30% is through learning with resources, books and knowledge base. The 70% is what some would describe as "learning on the job". I'm not encouraging you to throw yourself into team leadership without some tuition but you'll soon learn that as much as you study to be a great leader, the more you'll need to adapt and learn through practical training.
The contention between task and people is debated as some people believe that the task is more important than the people involved while others place greater value on the people over the task. What do you think? read through this section and make up your own mind. We will lay out some scenarios and main points to help you weigh up the two sides.
What does this section cover? This section is vital in the leadership theory surrounding teamwork. We will try to be objective and lay out the contentions around Task vs. People so You can decide for yourselves.
Why is it important? The answer to this question decides the outcomes of your team. It singles out the one main goal of any team you'll lead and very basically everything else around your own leadership is formed around which ideology you choose.
How do we develop this? Great question! Depending on which side of the field you place yourself in will depend greatly on our answer. You are loosely in control of your teams direction. If you value the task over the people then you'll need to approach your team focusing mostly on how to accomplish your task, however if you choose the people then you'll want the people to prosper and empower them to develop over focusing on task. Or maybe you'll find yourself somewhere in-between? we shall see.
Communication is intrinsic to team leadership. If you're poor in this area then workshop it with some of the tips we'll provide. On a side note you wont know how well you communicate yourself - ask people around you. Of course ask people you trust on your team but also friends, your own leaders and family members (if you're brave enough).
What does this section cover? This section will tackle the important subject of communication. We will give you tips and leadership exercises to develop this essential skill. We have seen teams fail and fail again because of poor leaders who don't work on this area. Don't let it be you!
Why is it important? The way you communicate down to your team or up to your leaders will define your success. Does that sound important enough? If not; good communication makes leadership smooth and will help your team to develop whereas bad communication will frustrate team members and make them leave.
How do we develop this? We will cover ways in which to communicate better in this hub of communication. At your current level of leadership you could implement your teams suggestions of how to tackle your communication errors but definitely develop your own communication effectiveness.
It's very easy to see team leadership as you leading over a group of people. Of course you are! but you'll very likely always have a leader yourself. They will manage/lead you and your team and therefore you'll need to know how to work this relationship successfully. In this relationship you'll find out that its a different sphere of leadership to know how to make this work.
What does this section cover? We will explain the differences between leading your team and being lead by someone else. Have to navigate this relationship and of course how to succeed with an oversight who wants you to develop and succeed.
Why is it important? For many reasons you want this relationship to work as they have the power over your leadership. If the relationship works then they will empower you to develop and see your potential keep moving forward. Otherwise they could take your position of leadership away.
How do we develop this? Integrate some of the suggestions we'll give on how to keep this relationship fruitful and healthy. Your relationship with your oversight can be hugely difficult at times but you have a huge influence on the outcome of your own leadership. Make sure you realise your oversight isn't at the point of perfection but know when to develop a forum to help them change or possibly when it's at a point to move on. Don't be rash but use your wisdom and seek council.
In a very serious way your accountable for your team leadership. This means your responsibility is huge as the lives of the people in your team are greatly affected by what you do. Accountability is the fibre of leadership - you'll need it to be healthy or without it you'll have a lot of digestive problems!
What does this section cover? We will cover the value and helpfulness of accountability and how to practice this leadership skill. You may not think this asset is that exciting or important but we assure you that it will help to build important trust and get you out of some sticky situations.
Why is it important? Before you find yourself neck-deep in severe issues, employ the get-out-of-jail-free card of accountability. Know this boundary and implement it across the board of your leadership.
How do we develop this? Know what accountability is, why its important and how to implement it. Make sure you don't break the boundaries that accountability sets out nor get lazy. This team leadership skill helps to maintain your leadership rather than develop further into something else.
When you become a leader over people, a vision of what you want to achieve will become paramount to the success of your team. Read this article to understand what visionary leadership is and how to apply it to your life as a leader. You should probably also have a look at how to lead your vision from within your team for better leadership skills.
What does this section cover? In this area of leadership development we look at the importance of visionary leading. We'll focus primarily on three particular areas; creating a large vision, communicating your vision and avoiding the pitfalls.
Why is it important? If you don't have a healthy and growing vision then your team wont be healthy (or growing) and this will lead to putting restricting limitations on your success (if any!).
How do we develop this? The first step is to identify that the vision of your leadership weaves it's way throughout all facets of yourself and your team. The next step is to develop and improve on how you outwork this vision in specific areas. Follow the guidelines in the article to look at the development of this skill through team leadership.