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What Makes An Effective Team Leader?

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What makes a great team leader? According to Victor Parachin, Thomas Jefferson made an excellent leader because he was optimistic, made things happen, and had a vision that he expressed clearly, was able to sell to others and successfully turned into reality. Effective leadership is a necessity. Leadership has been a requirement of society since the beginning of time. If a company's goal is to progress, effective leadership is the key. Leadership is a vigorous method of relationship building between individual groups. Effective leaders improve performance by assuming a level of competence and building upon existing strengths. Effective leadership is positively a necessity if a company's goal is to progress. A good team leader is someone that can take responsibility for their actions and everyone who is beneath him or her. In order to be an effective team leader, you must possess the qualities of having a vision, courage, and interpersonal communication skills.

In order for someone to be a great manager, they must have a vision, passion, and aggressive determination, (Rubin et al., 2002). A vision is a creative thinking process, (Cavasin, 2003). At times your vision may be difficult to understand and to apply to the group. But according to Vince Cavasin, this is because successful visionary leaders have internalized wisdom about their environments and their capabilities, so that this wisdom becomes apart of the creative process. A good team leader must have some insight to where the team is going. According to Susie Stephenson, to be a leader you need a clear vision of where the organization needs to go. You also need a good understanding of the skills of the people in the organization. For example, if team leader has no idea of where the team is going, then how will the team leader get the team to where it needs to be? A good team leader will have a vision and will accomplish that goal by taking it one step at a time. A team leader must communicate his or her vision to his or her team, in order for the vision to be accomplished. As a team you must believe in your own vision first before passing it on to your team members and think that it will make a change for the team. Once, you clarify the vision, your team can then decide the goals of the task at hand.

According Vince Cavasin, courage in leadership is often thought of as the willingness to take risks, but it goes much deeper than that; courage is personal. Courage is needed in order to withstand any difficult and evil obstacle that may come in a leader's path. A good and even great team leader should be able to display compassion and sincerity to others as well as triumph over temptation of authority exploitation. According to Robert Morehouse, leaders learn from adversity and are willing to take risks. For a leader to inspire his or her group, he or she must have courage, (Cavasin, 2003). With that courage you have to make decisions for the group. There will be times when you will make a mistake, but you must learn from the mistake and move on. This is all apart of growing as a team leader.

For example, when I was a supervisor, I would pray before bringing any difficult situations to my staff. I knew how to pick and choose any of my battles when it came to dealing with different associates. There were some occasions, where an employee on my staff was not quite grasping certain job functions that were very minor. Instead of me bringing a lot of attention to that particular associate, I found it best to allow the associate the time to correct the situation versus having a meeting and applying progressive discipline to the associate as well as placing the associate on a verbal warning.

Having great interpersonal communication skills is a very important part of being a good team leader. Even though you are the team leader, you must possess the ability to get along with all of your team members because this is a critical part of your interpersonal skills, (Tait, 1996). You must know how to relate to others in your group and be open to their perspectives. How you interact with your team will determine how successful your team will be and you as a team leader as well. You must treat each and every team member with the respect that you would want from them. According to Robert Morehouse, in addition to respect, having and communicating high expectations of the team is one of the most important ways to demonstrate leadership.

According to Robert Morehouse, storytelling is one of the best tools for managers to use to establish and communicate high expectations. This goes all the way back to ancient Greece leaders who used storytelling to get people involved in what they believed in. Through daily experiences and personal life lessons team members can learn necessary skills from their team leader, (Morehouse, 1997).

According to Time Magazine (2005), "good leaders not only dream dreams;



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