You find yourself in a leadership role. You’ve studied leadership and business. You’ve purchased a few books to help you improve your leadership skills, a key decision that will make you a good leader. What’s more, you’re reading them. So you’re ready to do some team leadership, right? Not so fast.
When I was first dropped into a team leadership role I hit the ground running. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what I know now. I began leading my entire team using the same leadership style. This was a big mistake.
I couldn’t figure out why I was failing and losing some of my team, while the rest was fully on board. At the time, I was reading The Maxwell Daily Reader as I still do to this day. This is when the difference between general leadership and team leadership became clear to me.
Levels of Leadership – John Maxwell’s The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential taught me about this. There are different levels that followers are on with you. You must be able to appeal to each level. Most of the levels have to do with your follower’s level of trust and admiration they have for you.
One Vision – Some aspects of general leadership are still applicable to team leadership. One of these is that you should still cast vision on a general basis. Make sure your vision is general and not too specific. It needs to be fun and attainable. If you’re a baseball manager the vision is “Win the World Series” not “Travel 80 days and still finish over .500.”
Different Deliveries – Team Leadership requires you to deliver the details of your vision in different ways to each level. For instance, you’re high turnover positions and the people who follow you just because they have to, don’t want to hear about all the hours they’re going to have to put in and all the hard work it’s going to take. Save that speech for the people who have a very high level of trust and admiration for you. The former will turn and run, while the latter will embrace the challenge and tighten their bootstraps.
Choose your team – There is team leadership within team leadership. The most effective groups are groups of 5. The second most effective are groups of 3. Split people into different groups based on the level they are on with you. You can then assign them tasks according to their level of loyalty and commitment.
George Washington – At the peak of the Revolutionary War General Washington commanded nearly 90,000 men. However, during what would be one of the key moments in the entire war, Washington lead only a small team of highly dedicated and motivated men, 2,400 total, across the Delaware river and into the Battle of Trenton. This victory was a key turning point of the war. Use your team leadership of one team, to motivate all the others.
Team leadership applies to all situations of leadership and management. Knowing who you’re leading and how to make them respond is a key component. Dividing your forces into teams, you can lead each team in their own unique way to maximize organization wide results.
What level are you on with those you lead?