Great team leadership is less about what you need the team to be and more about what the team needs you to be. Team leaders naturally want their teams to do what they need to in order to get things done; however, it’s what teams need from leaders that most affects team success.
Team leaders who miss this point often fail to provide the leadership necessary to compel the team forward. Teams have the best chance to perform to their potential when team leaders come to understand that the team needs different qualities from them at different times. The best team leaders dial up exactly what the team needs right now, giving the team the necessary ingredient to excel.
At any given moment, a team might need a challenge, a comforting message, a rallying cry, a new plan, a swift kick in the butt, or a patient ear, among many other qualities. The roles a team leader must play for the team at any given time might range from facilitator to mentor, coach to conductor, or teacher to commander. Understanding what your team needs from you is what great team leadership is all about. Who does your team need you to be right now?