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What Makes a Good Team Leader

What makes a good team leader

What makes a good team leader?

A team leader may be defined as, "A member of a team or organisation who is primarily responsible for the communication of a clear goal, together with the intelligent organisation of the teams resources that will best achieve the goal in the most efficient manner possible."

Improvement is always possible, therefore, every team leader would benefit if they were to improve their core leadership skills.
There are six core skill sets that every team leader should be aware of: Skill sets of professional development. You would benefit if you developed the following six skills sets.
We call them these six skills the "primary virtues of leadership".

The six "primary virtues" are as follows:

1. Clear purpose

The ability to create a clear and distinct goal.
The concept of leadership implies that the leader has in mind, a destination; a clear and distinct goal.

A leader must know where he she is leading.
A leader must therefore be a goal focused person.

The leader must not be a drifter. A drifter is a person who tends to "go with the flow". A drifter is a person who will willingly adapt himself to accept all circumstances with good grace; rather than attempting to bend circumstances to conform to his will.

  • Leaders don't put up with current conditions.
  • Leaders have a goal to improve on current conditions.
  • Leaders are not drifters.
  • Leaders are goal focused individuals.

2. Excellent communication skills

The leader must be able to communicate the nature of the goal to the rest of the team. If the leader cannot communicate the goal to the team, the leader will fail.

In addition the leader must be able to communicate the reason for the goal. The leader must be able to explain why the goal is a worthy and attainable goal. If the leader cannot communicate why the goal is worthy and attainable, then the team won't want to invest any effort into it.

Therefore the leader must be an effective communicator.
The leader must possess the ability to accurately explain ideas to others, in such a way that they will understand, agree and will act in accordance with the ideas.

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Do you ever think to yourself, "I know what I mean, but I can't explain it"? You need to be able communicate facts, feelings, information and ideas, in a clear, professional and confident manner. If you want to learn more about our communication skills training, please click here.

3. Rational, logical plans

The leader must possess sufficient intelligence to be able to create a rational practical plan of action that will show how to achieve the goal.

This means the leader must be a planner. The leader must be able to analyse the facts and formulate good written plans of action that will achieve the goal in the most efficient way possible.

If the leader cannot create plausible plans, then the leader's goals are, in reality, merely dreams.

Leaders are not dreamers.
Leaders are planners.

If you want to be a better leader then it is important that you sit down and start writing detailed plans.

4. Rational conflict

The moment you try to implement your plans, you will inevitably come up against conflict.

Someone won't agree with the plan, someone won't agree with the goal. You must be able to handle the doubters. You must be able to handle the dissenters and those who think you are wrong.

Conflict is inevitable. Therefore you must become a conflict manager.

The leader must possess the ability to guide and harmonise the various personalities in the team, so that they are more able to synchronize their actions and be more likely to reinforce and complement each other.

Conflict can be beneficial; if it is a rational conflict.

Conflict can be destructive; if it is an emotionalised conflict.

You must learn to deal with conflict in a level headed, rational and non-emotional manner.

Leaders are good at handling internal team conflicts.

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Conflict is inevitable, because people disagree. Therefore, you must be able to handle conflict situations effectively. You must know how to be assertive, clear and professional (not emotional, upset and angry) whilst in conflict. If you want to learn more on how to achieve this, please click here to see our conflict management training.

5. Inspire and motivate yourself (personal management)

The leader is the source of emotional strength in the team.
The leader sets the emotional terms.

If the leader feels strong, confident and motivated, then the rest of the team will tend to follow this lead.
If the leader feels defeated, lacking in confidence and lethargic, then the team will follow that lead.

So the question is "Who motivates the motivator?"

Answer; nobody. The leader must motivate himself. Herself.

The leader must therefore, possess the rare ability to maintain a positive mental state of optimism and realistic self-confidence, especially during the tough times.
The leader must be resistant to losing heart after a defeat or series of setbacks.
The leader must be self-reliant in terms of their ability to generate emotional strength motivation and confidence.
Only then can the leader be in a position to dish out emotional strength, motivation, and confidence to the others in the team.

6. Inspire and motivate other people

The leader must possess the ability to inspire the positive emotions of self-belief, desire and confidence in all the other members of the team, especially during difficult times.

This is one of the main functions of the leader.

The leader must be able to create in others a firm belief that:

  • The goal is worthy and attainable.
  • The plan is sound and will work.
  • The doubters in the team are wrong.
  • That the future will be better than the current situation.

The leader must possess the ability to prevent excessive negativity, pessimism or fear to take hold of the team and weaken its spirit.

If you make a list of the great leaders, you will observe that they all have this quality.

  • Are you able to inspire feelings of Goal focus, in others?
  • Are you able to inspire others to help you build good plans
  • Are you able to inspire harmonious work atmosphere?
  • Are you able to inspire feelings of confidence, and motivation?

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As the team leader or manager, you know that, on the technical level, you are very good. In your role as an effective and inspirational leader-manager, you recognise that there may be some gaps. Now you are searching for a method to help you to improve your skills as a team-leader and manager - click here to find out more!

If you want to learn to be a better leader, then you may wish to attend our two day leadership course - Corporate Coach Group.

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