The Art of Leading Teams – The Fundamental Attributes

By August 21, 2019No Comments

How leaders create and handle effective teams is an art and requires much more than just a title of ‘team leader’.  It takes a lot of effort to build and manage a team to drive results, and it is not something that everybody excels at.

It is a common belief that the success of a team depends solely upon the team efforts. In reality, the type of leadership and the capability of the leader is a significant factor that determines a team’s success.

Effective performance of a team rests upon three pillars. The first pillar is how team members integrate their actions and the quality of synchronization and coordination among them. The second pillar is the capability of working in collaboration in complex environments. The third and the most important pillar of effective team performance rests upon is team leadership.

Want to assess and evaluate how well you are doing as a team leader? Choose the Teamwork Assessment Tool and improve your team leadership skills!

Understanding Team Leadership

A competent and effective team leader can enhance and improve team processes. In general, there are four team process areas that a team leader works upon: cognitive, affective, coordination, and motivational. The individuals that serve the role of team leaders are responsible for helping their members achieve a synergistic threshold. They are responsible for creating a work environment where collective effort accomplishes more than the sum of individual abilities or efforts.


Not everyone is born a team leader. It takes a lot of effort to develop the skills and competencies of leadership. There are a number of attributes that you need to possess to become a team leader.

Self-Confidence and Personal Awareness

Two basic principles of leadership are  self-confidence and personal awareness.  If you become a leader but keep doubting your skills and capabilities, you will be far less effective. Becoming a leader without building self-confidence is just like laying the foundation of a house on sand. Every successful leader is confident in what they do and fully believes in their capabilities. It is this competency of the leader which paves the way for other necessary attributes such as decision-making and effective communication skills. You can assess and develop your team leadership competencies using a variety of tools.  One of the most effective is to participate in a 360-degree Team Leadership Tool.


Skilled Communicator and Negotiator

To become a successful team leader, you must have excellent communication and negotiation skills. Some people are naturally blessed with these skills; for others, developing them is a bit of a challenge.  An effective team leader must have the patience to listen to what the team members say and effectively negotiate with them to reach solutions.

Communicating expectations to the team members in a way that they understand fully is a talent not all people possess. Individuals who patiently listen to their subordinates have a higher chance of gaining their trust, which is an important factor when encouraging effective team performance.

Respectful towards Others

If you think you can make your team members work efficiently by being harsh and disrespectful, you are mistaken. Adopting harsh behavior towards your subordinates might even make them retaliate, and if you do make them work, you will find no traces of quality and dedication.


Respect is an essential element of effective team performance. As a team leader, you must always be respectful towards others. Treating everyone with respect is one of the attributes that you need to become a leader who can build a team that produces the required results. No matter how stressful things get, good leaders stay calm, control their actions, and maintain a respectful work environment.

Powerful Facilitator

Being a leader does not mean you can pass orders around and demand results. To serve as an effective leader, you must be a powerful facilitator. Helping the team see the direction and providing them with an action plan to move towards success is a requirement for a great team leader. An individual who just sets goals for the team and provides no suggestions as to how to achieve the goals can never expect good results.

A good leader will set goals, considering the potential of the team. Not only this, but that individual will design and develop an action plan in conjunction with the team members so they are all onboard with the objectives and results desired.

Decision-Making Skills

Having strong decision-making skills is competency requirement for people who wish to become great team leaders. Teamwork and outputs of teamwork rely on sound decision-making.


An effective leader may feel anxious or be afraid of making decisions, however, they overcome these with courage and self-confidence.  People with the skills to critically analyze situations turn out to become masters of decision making! This is one of the competencies that can be measured and improved using an effective feedback process.

Strong Morals

An individual with strong morals has the potential to become a very influential leader. Accountability, integrity, and humility are three aspects that a leader must get right and where they are most often evaluated, formally or informally, by team members. Morally adept individuals turn out to be very likable, thus, have the potential to win over a huge number of followers.


Team leaders have to become an example for their subordinates. Demonstrating integrity is the ideal example you want to set for the rest of your team.

Want to become an effective team leader? Start by assessing your team leadership competencies and find ways to grow and become better.









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