Four attributes of effective team leaders
Strong leadership is a prerequisite for any high-performance team. And it is particularly important in dynamic situations, when the roles and responsibilities of the team may be shifting and there may be a need to adapt the organization’s responses accordingly. Finding people who possess the various ideal characteristics of modern-day team leadership is far from easy, however.
“You have to know when to make a decision and that takes leadership.”
— Dina Pyron, Global Director of Human Capital, EY
Our research has shown that effective team leaders display the following key actions:
- Provide clear direction and leadership: This requires constant dialog, particularly if the team is distributed across geographies and functions. With teams now spread far and wide, regular contact should be actively planned and prioritized. But while structure is important, companies also need to ensure that processes are not too rigid.
- Create an open and inclusive team culture: Effective leaders of high-performance teams encourage members to voice views and ideas. Leadership in a team setting is much less about command and control, and more about getting the most out of a diverse and experienced group of individuals.
Do you agree that your organization does not have the right leaders to manage and motivate teams?
- Empower: Old-style command-and-control leadership models are not fit for purpose in a high-performance team setting. Although they lay the groundwork for team activities, effective leaders also know when to get out of the way, and empower team members to be autonomous and make their own day-to-day decisions.
- Develop and coach: Workplace surveys consistently demonstrate the potential impact of the manager on an employee’s attitude towards their work. Without the leader’s constant encouragement, individual demoralization can quickly infect the team.