Leading high performance teams - Part 1
Updated: Oct 3, 2022
Are you leading high performance teams? Whether a new leader, or you have been leading teams for years, this article is for you.
Whether or not you are an aspiring leader, a new leader, or have been leading teams for years, this article is for you. The first in our blog series on Leading high performance teams.
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” — Steve Jobs
The culture of your organisation matters
The wider organisational context in which your team operates makes a real difference. Research has shown repeatedly that if the work culture is supportive, people are more willing to take leadership and show ownership.
But the team leader matters MORE
Teams can flourish even in the absence of an optimal culture. Individual teams, when well-led, can create micro-cultures of engagement and high performance. The key role of the immediate team leader in getting this to happen is highlighted repeatedly by scientists.
2 things you need to know
The first thing to know from the science is, quite simply, that if people trust their leader they perform better and are more committed to their organisation.
Charismatic and Transformational Leaders seem to do this particularly well. These styles of leadership have been shown repeatedly to promote levels of positive emotional attachment and commitment to the organisation. We’ll be writing more on these leadership styles helping you understand what you can learn to do even if these are not your natural leadership styles.
2. Doing nothing is worst
If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to act until you are feeling fully competent and skilful, you might want to challenge this perfectionist trait in yourself because it won’t help your team. If you’re someone who believes that simply attending to one-on-one relationships with your team is good enough, or that it is always more important to attend to the tasks than your team, then think again! Because the evidence is clear: laissez-faire leadership that fails to attend to the team as a team, is actually negatively related to commitment. That’s right: doing nothing actively undermines commitment!
The culture of the organisation matters, the culture created by senior leaders is also important, but the individual team leader has a key role to play in setting this tone for their team, and setting them up for success.
Watch out for Leading high performance teams - Part 2!
Resources Trust in leadership: Meta-analytic findings and implications for research and practice. Dirks, K. T., & Ferrin, D. L. (2002). Journal of Applied Psychology
Leadership, Commitment, and Culture: A Meta-Analysis. Jackson, T.A. et al (2012) Journal of Organizational and Leadership Studies
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