Team Leadership - Tried and Tested - Found Good!

Team Leadership - Tried and Tested - Found Good!  Steve Wickham

Leadership is many things. Leading teams is a small yet significant part of leadership. I learned the following process whilst with the CRA Organisation in the 1990s and it continues to serve well today. It emanated from Ian MacDonald et al's studies into team leadership and membership in the British military. The process is as follows:
1. Explain the purpose
This should enunciate the goal or aim -- i.e. if this purpose was realised the right outcome would be achieved. Team leaders need to be purpose driven, and team members must have clarity of purpose to succeed.
2. Identify the critical issues/problems
This helps the team/members of the team to focus specifically, so they can pitch their efforts and resources in the right ways. It will also help them with their method or plan of attack. These are the crucial things that must be taken into account.
3. Encourage contributions
The true leader wants his or her team members to be increased while their importance and influence is decreased. It's about encouraging ownership and buy-in. This true leader doesn't have a shred of greed in his or her leadership. They know that a successful result relies on how team member contributions are handled. Good leaders are encouragers.
4. Make a decision
Once discussions have taken place the team will look to us, as its leader, to make a decision or decisions on how to go about the task at hand. We should have all the relevant information at your fingertips now so there's no reason we can't make the required decision(s). Once decisions are made, then we need to...
5. Assign tasks
Delegate portions of the project or task to each team member. We need to give them responsibility for reporting back to us and the team. We must give them guidance on process -- what part of the task is done when. We need to be sequential in our language. We should empower and enable them to actually achieve what we've asked of them, and also ensure we're certain each team member is really clear about what's required of them.
6. Monitor progress
We can't monitor progress properly if we're too involved, so we must take a step back and assume a 'helicopter' or 'umbrella' view. We will simultaneously gain respect of the team by giving them space to operate, and we'll get better perspective into the bargain. There'd be nothing worse than our team members feeling our hot breath down the back of their necks. No one needs that type of pressure. Give encouraging and correcting feedback as the team helper and supporter. It's time to 'steer the ship,' negotiating the icebergs and reefs.
7. Coach team members
This is one of the most fulfilling roles as leader. We can continue supporting them as individuals and small teams of 2 or 3, or even as the entire team, by giving succinct, timely, appropriate, and specific feedback. We're trying to help, guide, motivate, and support the team and individuals toward their objective.
8. Review the activity
This is a key step many leaders miss. No task or project ever works out perfectly so there are a lot of lessons to be learned in reflection. Besides, finishing the job will bring a degree of satisfaction -- as leaders, we should capitalise on this good spirit further encouraging and motivating the team and individuals.

© 2013 S. J. Wickham. Steve Wickham is a Baptist Pastor and a Registered Safety Practitioner and holds Degrees in Science, Divinity, and Counselling. Steve writes at: and Article Source:  Article Source:

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