Leadership and Team

What is Team?

According to Dee Hock (1999), Founder and CEO Emeritus of Visa International says, Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50% of your time leading yourself for your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, and conduct. Invest at least 20% leading those with authority over you and 15% leading your friends. If you do not understand you work for your mislabelled “subordinates,” then you know nothing of leadership. You know only tyranny (an absolute power).

Team Development

Participating in or observing the development of a team is absolutely interesting, sometimes it is disturbing, often both. So many factors influence the process, whether the team is to work face to face or electronically or in some combination of contexts.

Developing by Stages

It is traditional to talk about phases of team development, if each group or team followed a nice linear growth sequence. Most teams however, are not that predictable. Each develops through its own process but each also manage issues that brings its members together, drive them apart, push them to accomplish goals, hold them back, move them forward. These issues arise in different sequences for different teams, being aware of them can help to share leadership as we recognise the development issues in your team. Consider the following “phases” not as specific periods but as development issues that vary from team to team.

Phases as Development Issues

Researcher has noticed that short-term groups not teams proceed through orientation through groups, conflict, emergence of a proposed decision and mutual reinforcement as well as commitment of the group to a decision (Fisher, 1970). Other observations have similarly classified stages as forming (orienting to one another), storming (conflicting), norming (becoming a team with processes for managing strife), performing (getting the job done), and adjourning (saying good bye). (Tuckman and Jenson, 1977).

Source: Self-Copied from http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/InfoKits/infokit-related-files/tuckman-model-pic

Developmental Issues for Specific Team

The developmental patterns just discussed to understand the processes a group might experience, but the most useful information is that how your team develops depends in part on its type and its purpose or purposes. Gersick (1988) observed real world project teams, fund raising committees, corporate and health care teams and university teams. All had specific projects and tasks, used shared leadership and met for an extended period of time. Gersick’s observations directly relate to the kinds of teams most people experience, He found a general pattern:
1. At their first meetings, teams activities varied with their respective tasks
2. Several meetings dealt with conflicts, getting information, and working through issues
3. The mid point crisis meeting was focused according to the team’s purpose. Various teams dealt with decisions about goals, revising drafts of reports, outlining programs or managing conflicts.
4. After this transition, teams went through another series of meetings to work out details of their tasks.
5. This led to the final completion meeting, in which each team finalised its work according to the type and purpose of the team.

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Leadership skills, approaches and strategies

Most recently, two theories of leadership has emerged. Bass (1990) first distinguished between two of them: transactional leadership, which exchanges rewards for performance and transformational leadership, which elevates, motivates, inspires and develops the team. Transactional leaders set goals, clarify desired outcomes, provide feedback and give subordinates rewards for good work. On the other hand, transformational leaders motivate their followers through more subtle- but very effective means and these strategies tend to result in high worker satisfaction (Sparks and Schenk, 2001).

The key achieving sustainable business success is to have excellence in leadership at all three levels. Strategic, operational and team leaders need to work harmoniously together as the organisation’s leadership team.

The most common and most expensive error that organisations are making at present is to focus leadership development on their more senior managers, so that become their entire ‘strategy’. In doing, they are completely ignoring their team leaders. Yet it is the team leader who is closest to the customer. Make sure that the strategy embraces all three levels. There is useful distinction to be made between strategic thinking and strategic planning. Leadership strategy should evolve and guided by a small steering group as a part of overall business strategy. It should be longer term, for a strategy worth the name should be three dimensional:

• Importance-it really has to matter
• long term- it takes time to grow trees
• multi factored-it takes more than one element or approach to make strategy

Different Leadership styles

This style works just fine for a team of real experts who want to share leadership and charge ahead. For other teams, however, productivity, quality, involvement and satisfaction suffer.

Authoritarian (or autocratic) leadership is just what it sounds like. The authoritarian leader keep tight control, runs meetings by the book, sets schedules, and may use coercive or reward power. Authoritarian leadership often increases productivity in the short term, but it also increases aggression and turnover rates among members. Some people equate authoritarianism with leadership, however and their expectations are met by an authoritarian leader.
Democratic leadership fits the western ideal. The democratic leader ensures that everyone is heard, guides and facilitates discussion and decision making, and shares power. Democratic leaders do three important things. First, they make sure everyone in the group feels responsible for outcomes. Second, they enhance the group’s feelings of empowerment. Finally, they create processes through which the team can make effective decisions. Overtime, each member in the group develops the expertise (and, hopefully, the desire) to perform these roles as well; ultimately everyone can take turns serving as both leaders and followers.
According to Likert, R. in 1961 distinguished between four key styles or systems of leadership.
System 1: Exploitative autocratic- which is the essence of authoritarian style
System 2: Benevolent authoritative- is basically paternalistic style. There is a limited element of reward, but communication is restricted. Policy is made at the top but there is some restricted delegation with in strictly defined procedures.
System 3: Participative-The leaser has some incomplete confidence in subordinates, listens to them but controls decision making, motivates by reward and a level of involvement and will use the ideas and suggestions of subordinates constructively.
System 4: Democratic- Management gives economic rewards, rather than pats on the head, utilises full group participation and involves teams in goal setting and improving work methods and communication flows up and down. There is a close psychological relationship between superiors and subordinates. Decision making is permitted at all levels and is integrated into the formal structure with reference to the organisational chart.

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He recognised that each style is relevant in some situations; for example in a crisis, a system 1 approach is usually required. Alternatively when introducing a new system of work, system 4 would be more effective. It shows that effective managers are those who adopt either a system 3 or a system 4 leadership style. Both are seen as being based on trust and paying attention to the needs of both the organisation and employees.

Developing Leadership skills

It is very easy to explain leadership, but it is hard to practise it. Action comes first in leadership and then skills. People always like to follow the good leaders because they trust and respect them, rather than following the leadership skills they have. Leadership depends on the skills of Management but it is quite different from Management. Management really depends on the planning, company and communication skills. Leadership should have such type of qualities like integration, honesty, and commitment; also have knowledge to share the ideas with his team members and mutual understanding, sincerity, passion.

New and experienced leader alike, decision making has gown more complicated then ever. Leaders must make choices quickly often with the small information at hand. If we want to develop a greater tolerance for ambiguity and be willing to constantly reinvent the way your teams operate. Also want to gather more input on key decisions from people at every level of your organisation, as well as learn how to assess the reasons behind a decision before taking the force and implementing it.
In 1999, for example, management thinkers and executives from the private and non profit sectors gathered at a conference summon by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), a think tank in Greensboro, NC. The goal was to examine current leadership practices and needs. Participants focused on the fact that changing conditions in many organisations require leaders to develop new skills and perspectives.


Harvard Business School, (2005). Becoming an effective leader, Publish in USA
ISBN: 1-59139-780-9

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The Role of Communication in Leadership
Strategic communication has never been more important than it is today. Employees expect to know about their company’s plans, and they assume that they will participate in their company’s growth. That means that leaders must take communication a personal priority and drive its value throughout the organisation.
Mai and Akerson argue that leadership communication is not simply a technical skill, but “the critical leadership competency for guiding organisations through conditions of heightened transition and turmoil.”

Any competitive company they said has three critical goals:
• To attract and retain talent
• To maintain a steady course through transitions
• To stay at the leading edge of its industry through constant innovation and renewal
To accomplish these goals, leaders must do three key things:

1-Create a Community

First leaders must be community developers, fostering trust and creating meaningful work environment. A direct approach often works well.
Saturn, where plant or unit managers take the time to welcome each new hire and explains the company’s philosophy. Employees coming from organisations where they had never spoken one-on-one with a senior manager are pleasantly surprised by this. Such personalised face-to-face communication with employees conveys honesty and sincerity. Transparent, honest communication is essential: when leaders communicate candidly, employees are likely to reciprocate, extending confidence back to the company.

2-Steer a Steady Course

Leaders should act as navigators, setting direction and instigating action, particularly during times of transition. At the annual meeting, the company’s leaders met in groups to discuss the organisation’s future, stimulated by worksheets that provided them with information about deregulation across other industries, statistics and possible new company configurations. After the meeting leaders took the work sheets and held similar meetings of their own with in their individual divisions.

3-Commit to continual renewal

Case Study of Tesco

Tesco uses critical success factors as a basis for its management and leadership competencies. According to Helen Cecil, head of HR, the emphasis at senior management level is on developing leaders rather than managers. This aim, she says is based on the company’s recognition that “the difference we deliver to our customers is through our people. Management levels in stores have been reduced from seven or eight down to three and She also said that Staff now expects much more from managers. Managers have to be able to inspire, initiate change and motivate staff to deliver results. The company also recognises that the potential benefits of new technology, new management systems and new organisational structures cannot realise without effective leadership.

Tesco is developing global leaders as the business becomes more international. The company uses business schools and external consultants, with in company assessment panels that identify future leaders whose development is focused on strategy, operations and human resource management.

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