John Maxwell quoted that “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” John Maxwell’s definition does away with hierarchy and authority and instead focuses on the ability to influence.
Leadership is defined as the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish the shared objective. Leadership is an influential process that enables managers to get their people to work willingly towards what must be done and what ought to be done. Leadership is not a person or a position, it is a complex moral relationship between people, based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good. Further, there have also been several characteristics or traits on which leadership has been measured or assessed. Some of the traits generally associated by the leaders are high tolerance for frustration, charisma, readiness to accept feedback, team building, and responsibility.
The formation and growth of a high-functioning team within an organization does not occur overnight or without obstructions. Guidance and leadership matter from the stages of team forming through performing, it is also important to note that not all teams have the same style of leadership that is utilized to grow and mold them into being high functioning & productive. It is often observed that the failure of a team can be traced down to its leadership. This implies that the reasons for team failure may not be only due to member inability, but also collective failure to coordinate and synchronize the individual contributions (Zaccaro, Rittman & Marks, 2001). This points out that lack of effective leadership and guidance may be the root cause of the failure of the majority of teams.
How Does Leadership Affect Team Dynamics & Performance?
Leadership involves tuning in, learning, and inheritance building. It’s also about exercising truthfulness and authenticity. Without these components being undertaken from a giving point of view and not just taking from others, one’s leadership can’t be characterized as great. Thus, leadership is effective when it is intentionally about individuals that you lead or manage; it causes you to listen well, advance reliably to serve others, and foster a genuine inheritance by fostering individuals’ true capacities and abilities. Jack Welch once said “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” Leaders need to grow continually. However, they have a responsibility to train and grow those who follow them.
A team member cannot help but see possibilities and growth when a leader is true and has integrity. Because of the essential ingredient of trust, the team dynamics becomes effective, fruitful, collaborative, growth-minded, and legacy-oriented. Good leadership equals powerful relationships. (Beth Quintana-Manrique). Leadership establishes the vibe for culture in an association. At the point when leadership is good, it sets a dream, fosters an arrangement, rouses work relationships, and lays out steps to arrive at execution. Whenever leadership is less effective or dysfunctional, it frequently makes a culture of dread and urges groups to not team up through mid-adjusted motivations.
Now if you ask me how do we know if the leadership is good or bad? I would say good leadership is said to be good because at the peak of the leader’s journey is not glory, honor, and authority to oneself but the success of the team. Also, good leadership is not focused only on facts and figures, but also on the emotional energy in the team. As rightly understood by (Robert, MBA Leadership, Baker College of Flint, 2010). A good leader of a team links individual accountability to performance objectives and will assist team members to focus on performance objectives and through that learn to work together with respect and bonding.
An example of poor leadership on the other hand would look like, a boss/leader calling in the subordinates only to tell them what to do and say, ‘let’s go team.” but actually there is nothing about such workgroups that is a team, they are simply a workgroup lead in hierarchal order. That is why it is said that a leader trained in group dynamics theory knows warning signs and easy solutions to help the team continue to mold and develop together rather than just being a workgroup with no bonding. Ineffective leadership may result in deliberately wasted resources and damaged interpersonal relationships.
So how would you as a leader, focus and motivate a group of individuals to share their knowledge and collaborate as a team?
You might want to consider these pointers.
- Create trust
- Lead by example
- Delegate responsibilities
- Be clear on your values and expectations
- Set your priorities right
- Learn to disagree
- Be open to ideas & change
- Understand roles & responsibilities well
Building team collaboration is not an easy job, but we’d all agree that the payoffs certainly outweigh the efforts, wouldn’t we?
Markulis, Peter & Jassawalla, Avan & Sashittal, Hemant. (2006). The Impact of Leadership Modes on Team Dynamics and Performance in Undergraduate Management Classes. The Journal of Education for Business. 81. 145-150. 10.3200/JOEB.81.3.145-150.
About the Author:
Organizational Psychologist Human Resource consultant, Life coach, and Nonclinical Counselor
Sirisha is experienced in imparting group/individual coaching, end to end recruitment, taking counseling sessions & mentoring people by developing positive practices, and offering general guidance as well as in-depth training. She is well trained with expertise in providing psychosocial support, offering io/business psychology consultation, and dealing with psychological well being related areas including but not limited to Stress, Anxiety, Burnout, Work-life Balance, Goal Setting, Motivation, Relationships, and other non-clinical issues and Has mentored and trained 250+ professionals & students in the said areas.