12 Leadership Qualities of an Exceptional Team-builder
Few managers possess team-builder qualities by chance. For example, imagine trying to build a shed by buying some 2x4s, a bag of nails and a hammer. Then you start pounding together the wood. However, you no plan or sketch, or no measurements. Furthermore, you lack a thoughtful consideration of how to transform the image in your head into a solid, well-built, and handsome shed. NOT pretty.
12 Leadership Qualities Important for Great Team-builders
Too many team-builders fail because of a lack of forethought. Before you begin to lead others effectively, it is important that you have a complete picture of the qualities you will be offering the team through your leadership. Do a considerably basic review. Ask people who report to you, your boss, and some of your peers to evaluate your ability to build or rebuild a team.
Certainly, do a formal leadership assessment. This can help you focus on some of the strengths and development areas before you begin the team-building process. For example, how do you rate on the qualities below? Also, how would others rate you?
- Displays self-awareness.
- Listens and communicates well.
- Expresses self well
- Manages conflict skillfully.
- Acts with empathy.
- Displays ability to develop others.
- Engages role with self-confidence.
- Possesses organizational awareness.
- Acts as a catalyst for change.
- Maintains optimism.
- Is adaptable.
- Engages others appropriately to keep them focused.
4 Types of Teams that Need Help
These are the skills that leaders need in nearly all team-building situations. However, teamwork is a value, not an action. None of these skills work effectively unless a leader believes in the power of people. Ken Blanchard says, “None of us is smart as all of us.”
Although all employees need a team builder and leader who walks with a strong sense of self. Yet, how that leader expresses it may be quite different in each group. For example:
- Consider, the new team may be so full of anticipation that the leader will have to both listen to the rapid-fire input and speak well enough to hold the attention of an eager group.
- Certainly, the leader who is fixing a problem team needs optimism, organizational awareness, a sense of urgency, and self-confidence to demonstrate credibility and strength. The leader of a team that needs to be revitalized like this also requires skills for catalyzing change and energizing the members, as well as heavy doses of motivational expertise.
- In addition, the Virtual team requires a leader who has technical skills and exceptional leadership that will keep faceless participants engaged. Many teams today are separated by distance and seldom meet face to face. Use of intranets, videoconferencing, document sharing, Zoom, and other technologies are crucial to their success.
For all these teams, having a title (for example, Oz, The Great and Powerful) may not be enough. Credibility is more than a title. It is the subtext of the office grapevine that indicates you have done the work; you are to be trusted and you can deliver.
Two Key Ingredients for Exceptional Team Builders
The leader of teams must be and do. Leaders must be many things to many people–a catalyst, a good communicator, and self-assured. They also have a long list of things to do. And, leaders need to create and inspire a common purpose for all members of the team to rally around. Team builder must find the right people for the team by either choosing them or developing the skills to make them good team players. However, they also need to be certain that the team has the tools and resources to get the goal accomplished. There is nothing more frustrating to a team than to be close to a great accomplishment and then find that the financial support is not there. Or the support staff is not available to help them.
Great leaders create an environment for teams by pushing hard enough to get the work done in a timely manner and providing a sense of play and accomplishment. They also run interference with the rest of the world so the team can concentrate. They make sure that input from the outside is integrated so the team is not working in isolation. Then, by monitoring progress, the leader ensures that the goal is reached on time and as promised.
Team builders make a promise to deliver what you promise to do, what you will not take on, who will be part of that promise, how you will do that work, and how you will share that information. It is your charter, and it requires engagement. This applies to cross-functional team projects or to a team that works on several projects over time. It is a way of organizing your thoughts and keeping you on track.
So, You are Going to Lead a Team-builder: A Case Study
Troy was hired by the organization that was first on his list after college. After a little time spent in a small cube, they promoted him to manager, moved him to an extra-large cube, and gave him an assistant and a direct report. Troy did so well on a couple of projects they offered him a “real” office, a promotion, and a team! He was thrilled. How hard could it be to put together a team and produce a product in six months?
That is not the end of the story for Troy as he struggled but improved to get results. Maybe you do not relate to Troy. But, consider these key questions that may determine your success as a team-builder:
- What do you need to learn to lead a team successfully?
- Moreover, how can you enhance your skills, to start from nothing and build a productive, collaborative team?
- Think about what changes do you need to make to inclusively design a project plan that exceeds expectations?
- Consider, how can you learn to facilitate more engaging group activity and meetings?
- Most importantly, will you change to be able to repair a damaged or weary team?
Being asked to lead a team is a big career step. For some it means going from peer or co-worker to becoming the boss of those co-workers. It means you have been singled out as someone who has credibility and leadership skills.
Pulling It All Together
Historically, bosses got groups to work together by ultimatum. “We need this—make it happen.” Or worse, the boss just gave the directive and employees did her bidding. Now our experience and research conclude that the wealth of experience and knowledge of employees is crucial to a team’s success. Today, great leaders use the team approach to resolve even the most difficult organizational issues. A genuine team approach requires a leader who understands the value of having different voices come together to achieve a clear goal. It means teaching people about teamwork. This works marvelously when team members unselfishly contribute their best, and this depends on the leader.
In summary, famed US soccer player Mia Hamm said, “I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.”
Also, are you committed to your team’s success? If so, see this complimentary Coaching for Results eBook.
In addition, go here for our RealTime Learning & Training leadership and personal development website. Over 130 micro-learning and career development resources at your fingertips!
Finally, do you want to accelerate your leadership success? Go here for Rick’s Superstar Leadership eBook.