In order to maximize the effectiveness of teamwork, it is very important to follow the principles of effective project management, the main one being that any team should have a leader or manager. Even the people at Google will confirm that, but let’s elaborate on it.
A team is a complex organism that requires constant attention, investment of time, and a system of communication. The team leader coordinates these tasks, makes responsible decisions, and is fully responsible for the result. That is why the professional, personal, and communicative skills of a team leader are of key importance in the implementation of a project.
What is a team leader?
“The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”Theodore Roosevelt
The role of the Team Leader
The main role of a leader on a project is to find a balance between the interests of the customers and those of the team. Even if you are the client (especially relevant for small businesses), you will still need to find the “golden mean” in these interactions.
The leadership roles create a team, determine the vectors of work between specialists, create a work environment, improve teamwork, and drive them toward the goal set. This person is responsible for the effectiveness of the team and the success of the project as a whole.
Even Google cannot work without a leader
Those who are new to methods of teamwork often have the question, “Is it possible to work without managers at all?” And the experience of many well-known companies gives us the unambiguous answer: “No”.
The example of Google is very illustrative in this regard. In the 2000s, there was an experiment where specialists worked on a number of projects without an on-site team leader. After a while, instead of solving strategic issues of company development, the top management had to:
- Deal with settling employee relations;
- Try to implement at least the basic strategic vision at the local level and in entire departments;
- Deal with financial reports;
- Try to coordinate actions between individual specialists and teams.
As a result, the projects were a failure, and the experiment showed the need for a separate manager in the field.
The main team leadership tasks
Many things depend on the goals set, but the basics are always the same:
- Communication and information management. Communication skills for managers are how the manager talks to his team members, as well as communicates with parallel teams and other leaders – this is the basis for everything else.
- Delegating tasks effectively. In order to solve business tasks effectively, a manager must be able to trust some of the responsibility to their people (“delegate”), using their strengths.
- Decision making process. This is almost a “sacred” duty for which every leader is responsible. And for the success of the project, it is important that this point is implemented at the right time, and it is necessary to task priority levels, taking into account the current situation and the previously developed strategy for achieving the goal.
- Change management process. There can be no constants in the work of any team. There is always the possibility of change: from the illness of an employee to changes in the law. You have to be ready for this and always take it into account when building teamwork.
Knowing the tasks and doing them well is one of the main indicators of a successful manager. But without leadership and teamwork, the picture will be incomplete.
Leadership style (Adizes code)
The model of Itzhak Adizes (one of the leading experts in the world of management) is a somewhat specific view of the management styles of a leader and work style. His approach is based on the interaction between the four key roles of each manager-manager. For convenience, each is assigned letter designations:
- Production (P)
- Administration (A)
- Entrepreneurship (E)
- Integration (I)
In order to determine exactly which roles and in what proportion a leader performs, a so-called four-letter “Adizes code” of the form PAEI is created from the above-mentioned letters. It is created on the basis of the following principles:
- A capital letter indicates the role that the manager applies to the full extent.
- A lowercase (small) letter indicates a function that is rarely used.
- A dash (-) indicates a role that is not used at all or lacks competence.
“The Adizes code” or “PAEI” shows high efficiency in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of any manager. With the help of this tool, it is always possible to adjust the work of leadership regarding the formation and management of the team.
A team leader is first and foremost a person deeply involved in a project and who understands all the processes. But it is not only professional qualities that make an employee a good leader. The ability to communicate with employees, understand the weaknesses and strengths of each team member, make quick decisions, and take responsibility for the consequences – that is what the qualities of a good team leader are. Do not neglect the development of soft skills, because in today’s world they are becoming more important in building an effective team.