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Systematic Team Leadership Theory to Be a Great Leader

Madhurjya Bhattacharyya
Leading a team requires a lot of desire and willpower. Learning the team leadership theory would help a great deal in becoming a successful leader. Here are some concepts and models of team leadership, following which you can become a good leader.
'Good leaders are not born but made', is an important part of the team leadership theory. Developing the skills of leadership is a never-ending process wherein you would continuously need to study, train, and educate yourself.
You need to set examples and inspire your workers to work harder. Good leaders never rest on their laurels and continuously strive to improve their skills. It's a process wherein the leader influences others so as to achieve a common goal.
Leaders apply their skills and knowledge, and motivate others to work harder and achieve certain goals. Leadership skills can be learned, but the knowledge which a leader possesses is influenced by certain traits and attributes, like character, ethics, values, and beliefs.

Concepts of Team Leadership

As a leader, you must be honest with yourself and understand your own self. You should question what is it that you can do, the things you know, and the kind of person you are.
The success of a leader is determined by the number of followers he or she has. If the followers do not believe in their leader, they would not be inspired, and as a result the organizational goals would not be fulfilled.
There are different kinds of leadership required for different kinds of people. For example, a person who is newly hired would need to be supervised more than an experienced employee. Similarly, the approach to a person who is demoralized would be different from a person who is highly motivated.
Communication is another important concept of team leadership. Communication should always be two ways, i.e., it's not that only you speak and others listen. You need to also listen to the grievances which others may have.
Moreover, when you ask someone to work in a particular way, you should first set an example of how to do that particular thing. The way you communicate may build or mar the relation between you and the follower.
Always remember that every situation is different, and a trick which worked in one may not work in the other. Use your judgment in deciding the best possible action and the kind of leadership required.

Team Leadership Models and Theories

There are several models in the team leadership theory which you need to know so that you understand why leaders act in a particular way. There are basically two models, the Four Framework Approach and the Managerial Grid, of team leadership technique which are discussed here:

Four Framework Approach

It is suggested that leaders should show one of the four types of behavior:
  1. Symbolic
  2. Political
  3. Human Resources
  4. Structural
This means that the leaders may follow one of these behavioral models depending on the situation. If one style is appropriate for a particular situation, it may not necessarily be helpful in another situation.
In a structural framework model, the leader is considered a social architect and he analyzes and designs a framework for every situation. The focus of such leaders is on adaptation, experimentation, and strategizing for a particular task.
In the human resource model, the leader acts as a catalyst who believes in supporting and empowering his followers. In a political framework model, the leadership style is that of building and coalition. Leaders are clear in what they want and persuade others to follow suit. In a symbolic framework, the leader inspires his followers to do a particular thing.

Managerial Grid

As per the managerial grid model, there are four types of leaders:
  1. Authoritarian
  2. Country Club
  3. Impoverished
  4. Team Leader
An authoritarian leader is one who set high standards for themselves as well as their followers and are hard on their workers. There is very less chance of collaboration or cooperation. This kind of leaders expect people to do whatever is told without debating or questioning.
A leader of the country club type uses the power of reward to encourage and motivate the team to achieve goals and maintain discipline. As such they are more or less incapable of using coercive methods to achieve goals for the fear that using such powers may break relationships.
An impoverished leader uses the management style of 'delegate and disappear'. This type of leader though committed to organizational goals allow their followers a free hand so that they can be self-reliant and accomplish goals without supervision.
A team leader kind of leadership model is one in which the leader aims at building up relationships and at the same time is a tough task maker. He leads by example and aims at creating an environment where all members can exceed their potential.
Therefore, team leadership theory encompasses the importance of being trustworthy and opening up a proper channel of communication so that each person in the organization knows what is expected out of them, and have a vision of where the organization expects to be in future.