Keys to Effective Leadership
Consider the following scenario:
Tim has been asked to be part of a working group to make recommendations on improving company
morale. No formal leader is assigned to the team. None of the team members have worked together
before. The team has no specific goals beyond their broad objective. Tim wonders if he should take a
leadership role and considers how he can help the team accomplish something of value.
Does the above scenario seem familiar? The importance of teamwork is widely recognized. In fact, 91%
of respondents to a Center for Creative Leadership survey recognized teams as a key component of
organizational success (Martin & Bal, 2007). As a result of this recognized connection, businesses
increasingly rely on teams to complete important tasks. Yet many organizations do not know how to
form and foster effective teams. Like Tim in the above scenario, you may be unexpectedly called upon to
take a role in leading a work team. Whether or not you are in a formal leadership position, as a
professional in today�s global business environment, you must be prepared to spontaneously assume
leadership roles. You must know the keys to facilitating effective teamwork.
�Consider your personal experiences as both a leader and a member of a team.
By Day 3 of Week 7, post an analysis of the factors involved in developing and leading an effective team.
Identify three important factors for developing and leading an effective team. Also, explain how the
environment in which the team exists affects the factors that take priority (e.g., three factors important
for leading a collocated team may not be as important for a virtual team).
Use academic justification and two scholarly resources, in addition to those in this Module�s Learning
Resources, to support your answer.
Keys to Effective Leadership
Task: Identify three important factors for developing and leading an effective team. Also,
explain how the environment in which the team exists affects the factors that take priority.
The three important factors that are necessary for the formation and development of an effective
team are the purpose of the team or the task ahead as the first factor. The second factor to be
considered in the creation of a team is the strengths of the individual members in relation to the
task ahead. The third factor to be considered is the possibility or potential for coordination
between the individual members. These three factors if diligently considered will play a great
role in helping to develop the best possible team for any given task. In the paragraphs below each
of the three factors will be discussed briefly followed by a discussion of the implication of the
environment (Tidhar et al, 1996).
The task at hand
This is the specific program being implemented or goal that has been set by the management of
the organization. The nature of the task will determine the size of the team and the structure to be
used in the team. If the job ahead has a wide scope requiring several skillsets, it is necessary to
implement a horizontal structure of operation whereby authority is spread across the board and
the members can exercise a large degree of autonomy in their work. The combined effort will
then translate to the achievement of the task. If the task has a narrow scope it is necessary to have
a well-defined chain of command so as to ensure coordinated efforts.
The strengths as well as weaknesses of individual members
The abilities and challenges of each member need to be taken into consideration during the
selection of the team. This is not meant to shut some people out. This is done for the purpose of
ensuring the operation capitalizes on the available strengths of individual members while
limiting the possible impact of their weaknesses. In a service oriented operation, charismatic
people will be best placed to interact with customers while those who are not so comfortable
with strangers can perform back-office operations crucial to the team’s success.
The potential for coordination between the members
The potential for coordination is highly crucial as this is the aspect of the team that keeps it
together. The team members need to have something in common so that they can easily strike a
rapport and divide the tasks at hand amicably. This also reduces the risk of interpersonal
conflicts which will pose a direct threat to the team’s objective.
The importance of Environment
The environment in this context is the platform that will be shared by the different members of
the team. It may be a distribution network or a shared office space. The configuration should be
in such a manner that brings out the best in the team. In a manufacturing operation for instance it
is crucial to place quality control officers at the different stages to ensure the maintenance of
quality throughout the process of manufacturing. If they were placed together in on section the
team of workers will miss out on the usefulness of these individuals’ skills and this will
negatively affect the final product (Burch and Anderson, 2004).
Tidhar, G., Rao, A. S., & Sonenberg, E. A. (1996, December). Guided team selection. In
Proceedings of the second international conference on multi-agent systems (pp. 369-376).
Burch, G. S. J., & Anderson, N. (2004). Measuring person-team fit: Development and validation
of the team selection inventory. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 19(4), 406-426.