Thursday, July 28, 2016

Team leadership is complex

In our society, we applaud leaders.  Many of us aspire to be leaders.  After all leaders by definition have followers.  This is where team leadership gets complex.  Unprepared leaders can easily run amuck.  

Team leaders, to be effective, have 11 specific dimensions that they must always balance.  Those that balance well, develop effective high functioning teams.  The factors I speak of are:
Team Effectiveness Dimensions
  1. Clarity of Purpose
  2. Roles
  3. Operating Guidelines
  4. Communication
  5. Project Planning
  6. Generating Ideas
  1. Decision Making
  2. Participation
  3. Managing Conflict & Differences
  4. Trust
  5. External Relations

Numbers 1 through 10 are tough!  If that isn’t enough, there are still the external relations!  The team will need budgets, resources and support from this group of stakeholders so they must be a key factor in the leader’s circle of influence.  This is confirms the complexity of the leader role.

How would a leader know if they were effectively balancing all these factors? Good leaders request and humbly receive feedback from team members and many other sources.  Good leaders are always listening.  Anonymous votes on Likert scales would be an easy method of gathering a visual picture of any team’s perception of these dimensions.  Using this as a baseline will give any listening leader a strong picture of the team’s perceptions.  These visual pictures can be kept over time to foster discussions with the team to support growth.

Subsequent issues of this blog will deal with the implications high and low effectiveness markings on these dimensions.  Stay tuned for more learning!   

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