Traditional management practices often no longer work. There are various reasons for this. One of the main ones is that the world we live in is dynamically changing. Team leaders need new tools to motivate and encourage their staff members. If management techniques are not applied correctly, employees’ performance levels can be far from satisfactory. How can a team leader influence the situation? Which team leader responsibilities have to be reconsidered and reevaluated?
Leader vs. Manager
Before we go into detail, let’s first define the difference between the two notions – leader vs. manager. According to their definitions, the main distinction lies in their readiness for change. Leaders initiate and introduce changes while managers simply monitor and implement processes. However, since we live in an era of rapid change, every good manager should do his or her best to strive to become a leader.
One might ask, “What are the main roles of a manager within a company?” Here are some examples:
- Setting the right goals and objectives;
- Distributing tasks and arranging the work of employees;
- Motivating and taking care of communication within the team;
- Measuring progress and evaluating outcomes;
- Ensuring growth of professional skills among the staff.
As for a team leader’s skills, they include:
- Initiating, introducing and managing changes;
- Strategic thinking, leadership, vision of further development;
- Creating a powerful team and building relationships within it;
- Encouraging and supporting ideas and performance improvements;
- Successful communication with the entire team.
Importance of Leadership
Leadership is critical in an organization since it guarantees the efficient performance of processes. True leadership facilitates all major processes and optimizes the work of both the individual and the team as a whole. Good leadership enables employees to make sure that their work is in line with the company’s business objectives. Startups and companies with the target of active growth especially need leaders. Having team leaders ensures accountability and enhances performance.
Performance management is an essential component of a leader’s work. One key task is to track the performance and the cooperative spirit of a team by providing its members with options and flexibility. Such an approach requires new methods and communication techniques – coaching, open conversation, etc. Leadership roles imply being able to take on many responsibilities. A good leader is:
- Competent and qualified;
- Aware of the company’s priorities;
- Able to make timely decisions;
- Not frightened of initiating projects;
- Good at planning;
- Innovative and experienced.
What Is Effective Leadership?
Effective leadership refers to a wide set of skills and competencies. First of all, it involves the ability to control oneself. It also implies a good understanding of the scope of responsibilities. Effective leadership requires determination, dedication, and action. It includes being goal-oriented and result-driven. Effective leadership demands clarity in planning and thoroughness in implementation. A good leader should also be an excellent listener and team player. Numerous leadership articles give advice and recommendations on how to be a good team leader; most of them still emphasize the role of a leader as a person with a vision, someone who thinks strategically. To know more about role and importance of leadership please see the info on our training course High Performance Leadership Management.
One of the team leader’s roles is the use of peer feedback in performance management. Feedback collected in real time is especially valuable as opposed to more traditional, slower ways of collecting and analyzing feedback. However, before actually beginning the feedback process, a team leader should discuss the criteria that will be used for assessing peers’ performance, including a rating scale. This approach should be integrated into the operation of the whole company.
Team Leader Qualities
When it comes to organizational leadership, it is crucial for a leader to persevere in achieving the desired outcome. Organizations evolve, and a good team leader has to adjust accordingly. The main tasks of the team leader (setting goals, obtaining feedback, tracking progress, recognizing achievement) require determination. Please note that a universal recipe for leadership is hardly possible. Team leader responsibilities vary from company to company. Techniques that work for some won’t work for others. As for team leader qualities, here are some essential ones:
- Technical competencies - transforming goals into practical tasks understandable to those who will execute it;
- Managerial competencies - distributing tasks, learning from mistakes, motivating other team members;
- Mentoring - the knowledge, willingness and ability to support and help the team;
- Responsibility - ability to take it and act accordingly;
- Honesty - with team members and other parties.
One final, absolutely essential skill for managers and team leaders is cooperation. Engage your employees and it will boost their performance. Concentrate on performance management and you will become a highly effective leader.
The more complex the project, the more important the team leader’s role is. Yes, managerial skills are imperative. However, they work perfectly only when combined with leadership abilities. A team leader must possess a large set of different capabilities and skills including communicating with customers and coordinating work on a project. There is no need for a manager to be an expert in every field; thus, another key quality is being able to plan work and assign tasks while maintaining interaction and helping employees to resolve problems. Your role as manager and team leader is to manage, motive, inspire, and assist your team so that each member can achieve his or her best personal performance and bring excellent results for the entire team.
Performance leadership is about increasing the efficiency of a company. It’s about moving forward, fixing mistakes and reaching for something better. With good performance leadership, businesses can improve so that all processes within the organization are working more smoothly.