The role of a team leader or manager involves 3 kinds of activities:
- Creating favorable performance conditions for the team; through one’s own authority or be exercising influence upward and cross-functionally with managerial colleagues.
- Creating, building and sustaining the team as a performing unit.
- Coaching and helping in real time.
When a manager or team leader can focus of these things they will have little concern for the five trip wires described in other posts.
- Overview of 5 Tripwires
- Call the performing unit a team but really manage members as individuals.
- Fall off the authority and accountability balance beam.
- Assemble a large group of people, tell them in general terms what needs to be accomplished, and let them “work out the details”.
- Specify challenging team objectives, but skimp on organizational supports.
- Assume that team members already have all the competence they need to work well as a team.
With these 3 areas in focus the team will be an intact operational unit that perceives itself as a good team, rather than an group of people thrown together to complete individual work.
- It will have a clear, authoritative, purpose plus direction for its work.
- The structure of the team – its task, make-up, accountability and authority – will promote good performance.
- The organizational context will provide support and reinforcement for excellence through policies and systems designed to support team work.
- Ample coaching will be available to the team at the times when members need and are ready to receive it.
When the 3 conditions above are present the chances are good that a team will perform its work well and build the competence of the team to achieve high performance, contributing to the well being of the team members and organization.