Leading a Team

Dr. John Townsend

April 23, 2018

The basic idea of leading a team is to influence a small group of individuals to perform at levels that they could not without you. In other words, they can do something without you, but your influence and guidance has them perform at a higher and better level. If they could do it without you, you don’t need a leader, but as you’ll see, they do need one.

Why is Leading a Team Important?

The research is clear – teams do better when there’s a good leader. They perform better, are more motivated, and more engaged because they’ve got someone that they know they can trust. It’s not even a question if you’ve got a team that has no leader and a team that has a leader, all things being equal, the team with the leader does better. But secondly, as the team goes, so goes the organization.

So if you get the team going right, you’ve got a much better probability of success in the entire organization.

Another reason this is important is that a team puts together intimacy. Teams have to learn to connect and be together. 

Tips For Leading a Team

First, the leader’s supposed to advocate for the mission.

Secondly, developing trust. Every team leader must develop trust not just toward yourself, but also within the members. They have to learn how to trust each other enough to have hard conversations, to make mistakes with each other, to know they’re safe with each other.

Third, remember to get their views before you give your view. A mistake team leaders make is putting their opinion first. You’re supposed to set the tone, but then your other job is to tease out what they’re thinking.

Fourth, create a path. Sometimes, we call that a strategic path, sometimes we call it a path to growth, but that’s your job. You don’t have to do that by yourself, but you’re the one that’s got to make sure it happens.

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