Trip Wires in Designing and Leading Teams role of team leader or manager Create-Learning Team Building and Leadership

The role of a team leader or manager involves 3 kinds of activities:
  1. Creating favorable performance conditions for the team; through one’s own authority or be exercising influence upward and cross-functionally with managerial colleagues.
  2. Creating, building and sustaining the team as a performing unit.
  3. 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.

  1. Overview of 5 Tripwires
  2. Call the performing unit a team but really manage members as individuals.
  3. Fall off the authority and accountability balance beam.
  4. Assemble a large group of people, tell them in general terms what needs to be accomplished, and let them “work out the details”.
  5. Specify challenging team objectives, but skimp on organizational supports.
  6. 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.