Team Leadership Guide

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  Vision and Values  

Leaders must help clarify the governing principles of their teams: vision, values, and team norms.  In a participatory team environment, leaders must not only guide team members to understand the nature of these principles, they must also help them achieve ownership of them. In Everything I Knew About Leadership is Wrong Mort Meyerson concludes that a leaderís role is not just to make sure the team members know what to do and when to do it; more importantly, it is to ensure that there is strong and evolving clarity about what the team is.

A. Vision

A vision is a teamís most optimistic picture of the future: It is the ideal state for a team; it is the teamís compass; it is the ultimate situation when all the pieces come together exactly right. Researchers Kathy Whitaker and Monte Moses call vision "an inspiring declaration of a compelling dream."  A vision is built upon an agreement in which the people of a team identify key values and guiding beliefs.  A leader must not only have a vision; he or she must convey that vision to all the team members.  It is this act of vision sharing that inspires others to join the "good fight" to achieve excellence.  The vision is the vehicle for optimism, the glue for esprit de corps, and the drive behind the work ethic.   The vision is the philosophical underpinning that aligns work goals, nurtures values, and breathes hope into the team's work.

B. Values

Values are the beliefs that shape work behavior and drive the roles of employees.  Team leaders not only help their teams identify values, but they are themselves committed to those values.  Leaders model values, orient others to team values, and hire people who will be responsive to team values.


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