TEAM LEADERSHIP REQUIRES THE LEADER TO BE BEHAVIOURALLY FLEXIBLE.
It is teams, organisational groups, that are composed of interdependent members, who share common goals and who must coordinate their activities to accomplish these goals. Hence, the stature of team leadership impacts tellingly on organisations. Raising organisational teams is one avenue an organisation uses to respond quickly and adapt to rapid changes in the workplace conditions. New technology, new structure, global economic condition and increasing diversity, amongst others, mirror these changing conditions.
It is widely thought that effective team leadership is the bedrock of team success. Two crucial functions of team leaders are to motivate the group to accomplish its tasks or goals and to keep the group functioning and well-maintained. Task or team performance functions break into getting the job done, making decisions, solving problems, adapting to changes, making plans and achieving goals. Solving interpersonal problems, satisfying members’ needs, are the means of fulfilling maintenance or team development functions.
Productive team leadership is characterized by the need to diagnose, analyse or forecast problems and take immediate action to solve the problems. Thus, the team leader focuses on problems within and outside the group. Team leadership is successful when it diagnoses group deficiencies and initiates a proper remedial compensating action and when it forecasts environmental changes and prevents any harmful or negative changes in the environment from hurting the team. Good team leadership sees to the development of an organising team framework or a set of procedures. This structure serves the purpose of helping the leader and the other team members to interpret the information inside as well as outside the group, make judgements and take actions for the good of the group.
Team leadership requires the leader to be behaviourally flexible and have a wide repertoire of actions or skills sufficient for meeting the diverse needs of the team. By observing team functioning, sound team leaders construct accurate mental models of the teams’ problems and takes appropriate remedial action to solve the problems. The team leadership to emulate is one that gets the leader to seek out information, in order to understand the current state of the team’s functioning, and to analyze, organise and interpret this information for the purpose of deciding how to act. This information gathering process can be improved by encouraging feedback from team members and others outside the team. After structuring and interpreting the information and mindful of team dynamics, the leader makes plans for actions.
Action mediation is at the core of team leadership. It is to select from among competing courses of action, to help the group create a system of organising that allows it to make quality decisions, to manage interpersonal relations and material resources. Team leadership demands of the leader to determine the appropriate action to solve a maintenance or an environmental problem. Networking, advocating or sharing information could be helpful in resolving context or external problems.