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Good Leadership for Team Performance

Leadership is an essential component in every organization, regardless of the nature of activities being undertaken. Leadership refers to the ability to lead a certain group of people in establishing and sharing visions. It involves the provision of information, knowledge, and methodologies of attaining a given aspired end. A leader coordinates and keeps check the conflicting interests amongst all the stakeholders or team members. A team refers to a group of people who collaborate to achieve a given task by incorporating their complementary skills and competencies that are a prerequisite for the accomplishment of a given project, task, or job (Dyer and Dyer 102). Team members operate mutually while sharing responsibility and authority, thus achieving collective performance and accountability. This paper will focus on the essentiality of good leadership to a team’s performance.

Good leadership fosters the appropriate environment required for solving problems. Due to interactions coming from different team members, it is most likely that conflicts may emerge. A good leader ensures that problems are solved amicably as they arise, thus creating an effective team structure. Poor performance emanates from the collapse of the team’s structure as opposed to the incompetence of the team members. This understanding underscores the role of good leadership in maintaining cooperation amongst the team members (Ochsman and Chapanis 592).

Most conflicts within the team are perpetuated by the competition for rewards and recognition alongside inefficiencies in the flow of information in the team. Interpersonal conflicts result in the reduction of group cohesion, which threatens the existence of the team as well as lowering the overall performance (Dyer and Dyer 58). Through good leadership, it becomes easy to resolve misunderstanding among the team members and aid in the positive modification of behavior by improving processes. These leadership efforts coincide with the goals of the team, thereby fostering improved performance (Ochsman and Chapanis 482).

Efficient leadership aids in collective information processing, which is essential for the team to accomplish its stipulated task. Good leadership is involved in the coaching of members regarding various processes such as problem identification, analysis, and the generation of solutions, thus encouraging the participation of all members without cases of discrimination. Proper information processing encourages the communication of various rules of engagement adopted by the team members, thus ensuring open dialogue and efficient exchange of ideas as well as opinions. Well-organized communication enables the team to avoid risks that could have otherwise emerged in the innovation processes (Hoch and Kozlowski 390). Furthermore, constructive communication encourages timely feedback from team members because they can view mistakes as opportunities, thus achieving quality performance and improved productivity within the team.

Effective leadership ensures collaboration among the team members. Teams must ensure keen awareness of the collective participation and interdependence of members. Opportunities for acquiring new skills and making an improvement on the current skills are highly dependent on the willingness of the team members to work interdependently while reducing blame games when errors occur. Good leadership avails the required structures that put the right people together.

Through cross-training, which is encouraged by the leadership, team members can gain awareness that their tasks are intertwined, and this understanding increases the flexibility of the team coupled with facilitating quick response (Dyer and Dyer 82). Collaboration enables the team to attain a common purpose and goal while encouraging the trust as members work with each other successfully. Additionally, collaboration fosters open and effective communication, which facilitates the clarification of roles as well as encouraging the team members to embrace diversity.

Good leadership nurtures team motivation directly or indirectly, thus resulting in improved performance of the team. One of the fundamental roles of good leadership is to raise the collective efficacy of the team. Team members must believe that they have the capacity and competencies required in the execution of given projects, tasks, or assignments (Meyer and Schermuly 460). Motivation from the management results in the stability of the team, as members remain loyal to the stipulated goals and objectives. Motivation instills a high level of innovation amongst the team members, thus resulting in the invention of new, highly efficient, and cost-effective ways of achieving the set goals. Besides, motivation embraces a friendly relationship that breeds satisfaction and helps in putting the human resource into action by encouraging the team members’ willingness to work together (Meyer and Schermuly 477). Therefore, good leadership fosters the motivation of the team members that directly coincides with increased levels of performance.

Good leadership plays a critical role in the formulation of the team’s goals and visions. A vision forms the foundation under which the team flourishes through the attainment of stipulated objectives within the given period and budget estimates (Nahrgang et al. 14). Through thorough awareness of the team’s vision, a directional map is availed for the members to follow thus meeting the expected ends of increased output. Proper leadership enables the team members to be aligned with the operational strategies that aim at accomplishing certain assignments or projects that have been planned by the team. Leaders engage the teams in undertaking tasks that directly correlate with the fulfillment of increased revenues, growth rate, and group cohesion. Proper leadership guides the team members in the identification of attainable, realistic, measurable, and time-bound goals (Nahrgang et al. 19). Key measurable metrics available for each goal help in performance appraisal thus establishing whether the team is effective in attaining the expected productivity levels.

Team performance is dependent on the ability of the leadership to engage in coordinating the actions of the team members. Some of the elements that are inherent in the coordination process include orientation, resource distribution, and timing functions among others. Resource distribution entails the assigning of specific tasks to team members and the allocation of requisite resources across tasks. On the other side, “the timing function underscores activities through which team members coordinate the speed and pace of task accomplishment” (Zaccaro, Rittman, and Marks 474). Since good leadership amounts to proper coordination of the members’ activities, it consequently results in improved team performance and efficiency (Bolton, Brunnermeier, and Veldkamp 522).

Conclusion

Teams cannot succeed in undertaking their roles in the absence of the element of good leadership. Efficient leadership amounts to a corresponding increase in the performance of a given team thus making the members attain the targeted task or project. Good leadership aids in coordinating the activities of team members, helps in the motivating members, and plays a critical role in the formulation of the team’s goals and visions. Besides, good leadership fosters collaboration amongst team members, creates an enabling environment for solving problems, and encourages efficient information processing thus contributing to improving the team’s performance.

Works Cited

Bolton, Patrick, Markus Brunnermeier, and Laura Veldkamp. “Leadership, coordination, and corporate culture.” The Review of Economic Studies 80.2 (2013): 512-537. Print.

Dyer, William, and Jeffrey Dyer. Team building: Proven strategies for improving team performance, Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2013. Print.

Hoch, Julia, and Steve Kozlowski. “Leading virtual teams: Hierarchical leadership, structural supports, and shared team leadership.” Journal of applied psychology 99.3 (2014): 390. Print.

Meyer, Bertolt, and Carsten Schermuly. “When beliefs are not enough: Examining the interaction of diversity fault lines, task motivation, and diversity beliefs on team performance.” European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 21.3 (2012): 456-487. Print.

Nahrgang, Jennifer, Scott DeRueb, John Hollenbeckc, Matthias Spitzmullerd, Dustin Jundte, and Daniel Ilgenc. “Goal setting in teams: The impact of learning and performance goals on process and performance.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 122.1 (2013): 12-21. Print.

Ochsman, Robert, and Alphonse Chapanis. “The effects of 10 communication modes on the behavior of teams during co-operative problem-solving.” International Journal of Man-Machine Studies 6.5 (2014): 579-619. Print.

Zaccaro, Stephen, Andrea Rittman, and Michelle Marks. “Team leadership.” The Leadership Quarterly 12.1 (2001): 451-483. Print.