Explaining and understanding the nature of good leadership are probably easier than practicing it. Good leadership requires deep human qualities, beyond conventional notions of authority. It is however of extreme importance to opt rightly when it comes to making a choice of who should be your team leader. When it comes to managing a project, and a team, an innate skill is of the utmost importance. Five skills are paramount while selecting a team leader, let’s see them.
1. Ability to communicate and impart information strongly: An important quality to look out for in a team leader is the ability to interact skillfully with people. It is said that the main reason why most projects fail is due more to communication mishaps than technical reasons. As a team leader, you are at the nucleus of the cell and central focus-point for all the communications that go on concerning the project. It is critical that you maintain exceptional communication with your team, patrons and stakeholders. You must be able to communicate well; verbally and in writing because a team leader communicates with his/her team often, and in variety of ways. If communication is open, honest and direct throughout an organization, efficiency is increased, second-guessing stops, and hidden agendas cease to exist.
2. Ability to inspire others in the team: To communicate fluently is very different from being able to motivate your team; the latter is another invaluable quality to look out for in a team leader. A team leader must be able to create a vision of the future for the project that is vivid, compelling, fascinating and bright. This motivates and stimulates the team to work harder to be able to achieve the dream of the project. Ultimately, a team leader is chosen to solve organizational problems, and to take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace. As a team leader, you should be able to instill a hunger in the other members of your team to unite and achieve a common goal. Everyone wants to work for a company that makes a transformation in the world, it lies on the approach of a team leader to bond the team and make an impact in the focus market and community.
3. Ability to innovate: The aptitude to innovate and transform is a key skill to look out for in a team leader. Every business needs a transformation, because no business wishes to remain constant. It’s no secret that the business environment for most companies is changing faster than ever before, which requires people and the organizations they work for to change along with it. It is the work of a team leader to see the changes coming on the horizon, and constantly push their organizations to be in the right place when those changes happen. A good team leader should be able to recognize that the market-place, in terms of staff, customers and suppliers, is truly global now, and a team leader must be able to function, appreciate and adapt to all aspects of cultural diversification. A team leader who fails to relate culturally well inevitably condemns the entire organisation to adopt the same narrow focus and bias exhibited by their leader.
4. Capacity to exhibit transparency, integrity and honesty: Integrity is the most important requirement to look out for in selecting your team leader. How good a team leader is is based more on attitudinal qualities, than management processes. Being a team leader demands emotional strengths and behavioral characteristics which draw deeply on the team leader’s mental and spiritual reserves. A team leader should be honest, transparent and have integrity. A good team leader must aim at achieving the company tasks and objectives, while maintaining his/her integrity, the trust of the team, and balancing the corporate aims with the needs of the world beyond.
5. Ability to display technical competence and professional expertise: In selecting a team leader, it is unreasonable to neglect the core competencies and professional proficiency of the to-be leader. Most good team leaders today, started out in business with a specific skill, such as selling or accounting or designing software. They build on their technical and professional skills over time, becoming valuable experts in their field. A good team leader should be someone who has considerable experience or skill he/she can bring to bear in the project.
It is my hope that this information would guide you in making the sensitive decisions on who to select as your team leader!
See also 7 Habits of Unsuccessful Leaders