Many tasks call for a cross-functional or collaborative approach in order to get the best results. Team work is common in most organisations, but it can be tricky building a team with the combined knowledge and expertise. Also, creating an effective team requires genuine leadership skills that all too few people possess.
Before deciding on the structure of the team, make sure everyone is adequately qualified for the tasks they’ll be dealing with and ensure you’ve finalised your goals.
Tips for team leadership
This article won’t turn you into a great team leader: only you can do that. What it will do is to give you a few pointers that will help you along the way. Below are some areas to consider:
Scope - Differentiate between general team building and specific aims for projects for which you will need a dedicated team. Of course, depending on the size of the team this may not be mutually exclusive.
Clarity - Communicate effectively with members of your team and let them know the importance of their role in the whole project. They also need to know how the project relates to the overall objectives of the organization.
Enthusiasm - If you can’t motivate yourself, you won’t motivate your team. This is more effective coming from a trusted individual.
Empowerment - The team members and the whole team itself need to feel empowered to make decisions – within certain parameters of course.
Moral courage - This is a rare and valuable attribute that you must personally exhibit but also develop and encourage in others.
Creativity - Rather than feel threatened by creativity you should encourage it. As General Patton once said: “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”
Measurement - It is crucial that you have some yardstick by which to measure the performance of your team.
- Make it fun - Life is too short to spend a minimum of 35 hours a week in the company of miserable, downtrodden colleagues. You’re the leader so inject some fun into the day.
It’s important you promote understanding of the structure you’ve put together. Tell your team what role each person has, and they will understand why you’ve chosen to include them, and what they can add to the process.