Team Leadership Guide

Home / Definition of a Team  / Stages of Team Development  / vision / valuesnormsexpectations

collaborate /trust / effective meetings / decision making / manage conflict / solve problems set common goals /

plan effectively / share information / bridge to the organization / communicate clearly / coach / train / feedback

motivate / manage change / team performance



This free Team Leadership Guide is ideal for new managers, leadership training, coaching, or any situation where a team leadership outline would be helpful.

The Guide is organized around seven vital skill groups: establish clarity, build team connections, resolve issues, focus team action, expand knowledge, strengthen team capabilities, and enhance team performance.  Undoubtedly, any list of team leadership skills is selective and perhaps a bit arbitrary; but the skills discussed here reflect an overview of organizational research.  Certainly, team leaders may want to add or refine the list. The purpose is not to provide a prescription for leadership; rather the purpose is to introduce a set of skills so that team leaders can reflect upon their own experiences and leadership practices.


  Content Outline     

Use the following linked outline to navigate the material or explore the Guide using the links listed in the heading or use the Goggle site search engine found below the outline.

Introduction: Successful teams require skilled leaders.

Definition of a Team

Stages of Team Development

Seven Core Leadership Skill Groups

  1. Establish Clarity: Identify a team’s vision, values, norms, and expectations.

  2. Build Team Connections: Learn to collaborate, trust, and conduct effective meetings

  3. Resolve Issues: Understand sound decision making, manage conflict, and effectively solve problems

  4. Focus Team Action: Set common goals and plan effectively

  5. Expand Knowledge: Learn to share information, bridge to the organization, and communicate clearly

  6. Strengthen Team Capabilities: Leaders must coach, train, provide feedback, and motivate

  7. Enhance Team Performance: Leaders must manage change and assess team performance




  Introduction: Successful teams require skilled leaders  

Organizational teams are complex organisms, each responding to an ever-changing dynamic.  Leaders who attempt to manage team complexity with one rigidly set leadership approach are frequently overwhelmed. Indeed, the best leaders are many different things, deftly responding to a shifting context.

On a very basic continuum, leaders fall somewhere between the hierarchal style and the team-based approach.  The hierarchal leader exerts authority to achieve individual control while the team-based leader focuses on harnessing the collective expertise of a group in order to respond to the rapid flux of change that flows from customer needs, production demands, workplace relationships, and organizational goals.  Researcher Margaret Wheatley writes that team-based leaders model three governing principles that their followers can use as guideposts to shape their own work behavior: Leaders promote visions, leaders embody sincere values, and leaders work toward organizational goals and beliefs. In short, team leaders must help teams look at themselves and to be reflective about their behavior, their decisions, their relationships, and the processes they use to get things done. 

A poor leader: the people fear

A good leader: the people love

A great leader: the people say, “We did it ourselves.”

--Sun Tzu, fourth century military philosopher


Team Leader Challenge  

Take the Team Leader Challenge. Personally assess your team leadership skills with thirteen self-evaluations.  Gain  insight into how you approach working with a team. Click Here


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