Team leadership




Inan organization, the success of the organizational leadership isanchored in the success of the leadership of the teams. Therelationship is because of teams are integral parts of theorganizational management practice and the process of influencingpeople. The discussion on team leadership will illustrate theimportance of the topic and the processes of development of teamleadership. The types of teams in an organization determine theextent that team leadership has in the process of influencing themembers towards organizational objectives. In addition, the successof team leadership is determined by the success of the team goals.Moreover, the style of leadership employed in influencing memberstowards the achievement of goals depends on the type of teams in theorganization.

Importanceof Team Leadership

Teamleadership is important in the implementation of the criticalleadership processes in a team. Margerison(2002) argues that oneof the main team leadership processes is goal setting as an elementof planning. Through the setting of common goals, leaders are able toinfluence the members of the team to drop their individual ambitionsand embrace the team spirit of achieving common goals. According toSchermerhornet al (2011), goals motivate the people in an organization to developtheir own individual and group commitments towards meeting thenecessary tasks on time and within the guidelines. Therefore, teamleadership plays a key role in the coordination of the individual andgroup goals to integrate and align with the overall organizationalobjectives.

Teammotivation is another major process that makes team leadershipimportant and necessary for the successful running of teams. Teamleaders motivate individuals and groups by giving them reasons toalign their goals along the team goals. By setting individual andteam goals, team leaders help the members understand their role andwhat is expected of them. According to Whettenand Cameron&nbsp(2002), motivating membersof a group plays a strong role in the performance of the members andthe achievements of team goals.

Moreover,team leadership is important in the coordination of the team membersto achieve the goals set for them as individual and groups. Throughcoordination, leaders integrate and synchronize the diverse tasks ofevery team member to conform to the team and organizational goals(Nahavandi,2014).The coordination of tasks also motivates employees by giving them asense of significance towards the achievement of the organizationaltasks. According to Schermerhornet al (2011), this is because employees feel that their individual orgroup tasks are important in the entire organization.

TeamLeadership Styles and Types of teams

Differenttypes of teams require different styles of leadership to operate andfunction because they have different models. The most common types ofteams that are likely to be found are functional teams, self-managedteams, virtual teams, cross-functional teams and problem-solvingteams (Margerison,2002).At the same time, there are five main leadership styles that can beapplied when leading teams. According to Nahavandi(2014),the styles are Laissez faire, Autocratic, participative,transactional and transformative leadership.

Oneof the most common types of teams in an organization is thefunctional teams. In this type, the transactional leadership is themost appropriate for the team is formed by organizational membersthat are drawn from the various departments along the verticalorganizational structure. According to Griffin and Moorhead (2011),the membership of the team cuts along the hierarchy and chain ofcommand. Therefore, the transactional leadership fits because itpromotes provision of rewards and punishment for tasks that areallocated from the top to the bottom of the organizational structure.

Laissezfaire is the type of leadership that would fit the cross-functionalteams. These are teams established by combining several functionalteams of experts into one. Laissez faire fits these teams because themembership works in a cooperative manner because it is made up ofexperts in their own functional areas. According to Whettenand Cameron (2002), thistype has a unique feature of having the powers to make their owndecisions. Therefore, they are able to lead themselves by setting,managing and working towards their own goals.

Theparticipative style of leadership is the most appropriate model ofleading a self-managed team. This is the type of a team that isformed by individuals who take the responsibilities of their seniorsor former bosses to fulfill certain specified mandates. Therefore,all of them to take leadership roles and participative inaccomplishing the missions set for them. The participative style ofleadership allows each one of them to take a common control overtheir work and determine their assignments (Schermerhornet al,2011).Through participative leadership, the self-managed teams select theirown membership and evaluate their own work and performance. Throughthe leadership, they promote self-responsibility which renderssupervisory positions within them irrelevant.

Transformationalteam leadership is a unique model of leading teams that arecharacterized by high levels of communication. In modernorganizations, these types of teams are called virtual teams.According to Hickman(2010),such teams characteristically use technology to link a group ofindividuals in an organization who work towards achieving a commongoal. Transformative leadership will therefore promote communicationamong the members of such teams.

Sinceleadership is the art of influencing people, leaders of such virtualteams will use communication to influence the goals and operations ofthe members despite their physical or geographical dispersal.According to Whettenand Cameron (2002), virtualteams are able to overcome time and space constraints as well as theabsence of a normal social context. Therefore, transformativeleadership for the teams is the most appropriate in the creation of awarm environment that motivates the team members to cooperate andachieve common team goals.

Developmentof Team Leadership

Thedevelopment of the leadership of a team is based on the developmentof a team through the distinctive team formation stages. Each stageof team formation portrays different circumstances that requireleadership interventions. As a situational process, team leadershiphas to change with the changes that take place in the team in regardto human interaction (Hickman,2010).Therefore, every stage requires certain traits of team leadership.Forming is the first stage of team formation that involves theorganization individuals establishing the group. At this stage, theleader of the group should have the social skills of bringing peopletogether. In addition, the leader of the team should be able to setgoals of the team to integrate their tasks towards achievement ofcommon predetermine objectives.

However,a team leader should be able to solve conflicts that arise in theprocess of team formation. This is characteristically experiencedduring the storming stage, which is marked by disagreements anddisintegration. According toNahavandi (2014), thegreatest test of a leader is to bring the divergent views of the teammembers together despite the disintegration tendencies. The effortsof a team leader to unify the team are what give rise to the normingstage of the team development. The norming is when the team managesto adopt a mutual plan by agreeing to construct one goal and follow acommon team leadership. According to Schermerhornet al(2011), hishappens after a process of storming that is overcome by persistenttolerance and acceptance of the diversities within the team.

Teamleadership is vital in the continuance of team unity throughout thelife of the group. While the final stage of team development isperforming, team leadership is a constant variable to ensure theperformance of the group. The success of team leadership during theperforming stage is marked by efficiency in the delivery of theteam’s goals. At this stage, team leadership is instrumental inensuring the smooth and effective operation of the team towards theachievement of the organizational goals.


Themain essence of leadership in a team is to influence the behavior andactions of the team members to achieve individual, group andorganizational goals. is able to achieve this bypromoting, planning and setting of common goals of members andcoordinating them in their achievement. is importantin the motivation of the members to embrace the team spirit as partof the organizational structure. The success of the team leadershipdepends on the type of teams and stages of team development in theexisting organizational groups. Therefore, every team has uniqueleadership structures and models that are dependent on the situationand the dynamics of the team.


Griffin,R., &amp Moorhead, G. (2011).Organizational Behavior: Managing People and Orgnanizations.Stamford: CengageLearning

Hickman,R. (2010). Leading organizations:Perspectives for a new era (2nd ed.).Thousand

Oaks,CA: SAGE Publications

Margerison,C. J. (2002). TeamLeadership.Stamford: Cengage Learning

Nahavandi,A. (2014). TheArt and Science of Leadership, Seventh Edition.Upper Saddle River, New York: Pearson Prentice Hall

Whetten,D. A., &amp Cameron, K. S.&nbsp (2002).&nbsp Developingmanagement skills,(5th ed.).&nbsp Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall

Schermerhorn,J.R., N. Osborn, R.N, &amp Bien,M. (2011). OrganizationalBehavior.New York: JohnWiley &amp Sons