What does it really take to lead a team?

How do people get chosen to lead teams? Usually it’s because they’ve got the greatest technical skill or the broadest knowledge base. Rarely is it because they are adept at leading people in the dynamic, fluid, complex entities we call teams.

As a result, all too often the team leader flounders, makes errors of judgment that cost valuable time, stifles communication unintentionally, etc. Meanwhile, the team never aligns behind a truly shared goal and settles for less – often much less – than they are capable of achieving.

Team leadership vs. Management – what’s the difference?

To make matters worse, team leaders usually get no real training. Some organizations provide management training, but very few provide team leadership training. Leading high performance teams takes a great deal of skill and considerable courage. Management is largely about doing things right within the rules of the organization, and efficiently following a defined track.

Leading high performance teams takes a great deal of skill – and considerable courage.

Team leadership is about finesse, about influence and negotiating skills, about deploying people and gaining buy-in. It requires the ability to earn respect and gain support for a common objective. It is much more complicated than simply managing, and much more organic. It is more about wisdom, savvy and street smarts than about following a clearly defined organizational track.

The lack of training for courageous team leadership represents a significant threat to any organization that relies on teams to achieve results.

Delta’s training for courageous team leadership

Our team leadership training equips team leaders to:

  • Clarify and maintain focus on the goals of the team
  • Manage the emotions, rivalries, ambitions, egos, and expectations of team members
  • Make constructive conflict and passionate discussion a part of the team dynamic
  • Understand how fierce discussions change the “ecology” of relationships and of team dynamics and how to guide teams through that skillfully
  • Challenge team members without de-motivating them
  • Maintain an environment of trust and respect while arguing positions passionately
  • Maintain a high degree of team member engagement without burn out.

We use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, CPI 260, and FIRO-B to help the team leader understand their own drivers, motivational systems and interpersonal gifts and challenges. Then we help team leaders understand the dynamics of teams, what team members need and expect and how to align that behind business objectives.

We offer Developing Team Leaders either as a program customized to your organization or as 1:1 coaching with team leaders.

Organizations today accomplish most of their objectives through teams. That is way too important to leave to chance—yet leaving that success to chance is precisely what most organizations do by not training their team leads in the complex role of building and leading a team. Delta Associates provides that critical training to take that element of chance out of team performance.