Being a leader can be very complicated. It does not matter what level of leadership role you play. Leadership is a demanding skill. In attempting to develop strong leadership skills there are a seven basic principles that enable those in leadership positions to become stronger leaders.
The overall goal of a strong team leader is not to get the work done, but to empower others to do the task with their skills and talents. Releasing the strengths of others will create a strong team. Allowing others to share their thoughts and ideas will multiply the strength of a team. Team leaders understand each individual team members as unique resources of talent and information.
It is not the purpose of a team leader to achieve the goals of the team, but to help others fulfill the mission of the organization on a daily basis. A team leader is a coach and cheerleader not the player on the team. A strong team leader is one who steps aside and allows each member of the organization to exercise his or her abilities.
The team leader is not to be in charge of those doing the work, but his or her task is to “run interference” for them. The team leader is available to encourage team members to make outstanding contributions and correct decisions. However, a team leader must be willing to let those he or she leads to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.
The overall task of the team leader is not to motivate others, but to design a culture and teamwork system that brings out the best of what people have to offer. This calls on the team leader to help in the creation of an organization that stimulates team members to offer his or her very best.
The focus of a strong team leader is not to keep the team running smoothly, but to continuously change and improve the team in innovative ways. A team leader is a visionary who sees the future and unseen possibilities. His or her objective is to cast that vision to the team, not do the job for them. The team leader is a constant encourager for adjustments and changes that will produce healthy results.
A strong team leader is not to make decisions and solve problems, but to put team members in a position to make decisions for themselves through decision empowerment. When the team sees that they have the ability to make productive decisions it empowers the group for future decision-making and self-assurance is encouraged and confidence is gained.
One of the constant and needed behaviors of a team leader is to help prevent problems from occurring. Conflict and disagreement will take place in any team organization. For a strong team leader’s conflict skills to develop he or she must be willing to watch the team, read the atmosphere of the team, pay attention to the character of each team member and prevent disagreements from blowing the team apart. Conflict and disagreement will take place but a good team leader will be an excellent referee.
BUILD YOUR OWN TEAM: A BLUEPRINT FOR INSTANT TEAMWORK, An Online Book, by Phil Van Auken