Moran, Linda; Hurson, Kathleen (1994, ASQC) Achieve International (a division of Zenger-Miller, Inc.), San Jose, CA 95110
Without trained and skillful team leaders, teams risk failure even though they have active and dedicated team members. Team leadership is especially important in a changing work environment that requires employees to assume greater control of their own work.
Team leaders should: (1) trust team members and build their trust; (2) focus the team on its mission, goals, measurements, and boundaries; (3) keep the team energized and moving forward; (4) help team members bring their knowledge and experience to bear on solving stubborn problems; (5) expand the team's range of effectiveness; (6) encourage innovation and measured risk taking; (7) share key information with the team; (8) make team members genuine business partners; (9) help the team learn and grow from their mistakes; and (10) build the commitment of the team to its own success and to the success of other teams and the whole organization.
Traditional supervisory skills, which emphasize top-down authority, may be counterproductive if overused in a team environment. Team leaders should use participative skills and work with employees, especially in the early stages of the team's development. Participatory skills build trust and inspire teamwork, facilitate and support team decisions, expand the team's capabilities, create a team identity, make the most of team differences, and foresee and influence change.