“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford

Teamwork Overview

Leaders either lead teams or are part of a team; thus, teams are a central part of the leader’s role. Leaders need to manage teams to achieve their goals while being aware of each team member’s strengths and weaknesses when functioning as part of the team. An effective team is the right size, stable in membership (not a lot of churn) and is working on a task that provides purpose. The team leader must get the right resources for the team, including the right people; especially people who can contribute a diversity of thought, ideas, and approaches. The leader must communicate well and focus on solving problems that may impact the team.

Why Teamwork is Important to a Leader

The leader’s success depends on the performance of the team. The successful leader is one that melds together the components of all other leadership competencies to achieve the team’s goals. Teamwork is one competency that is comprised of components from almost all of the other leadership competencies.

If the leader is part of a team, such as a leadership team, she must focus on being an excellent follower and contribute just as they would expect their team members to contribute to the success of the team.

Benefits for the Leader

Developing a team to be successful is very rewarding to the leader. Not only will the team be successful, but also the leader will improve their credibility and position within the organization. The leader will have the opportunity to develop team members and create team cohesion. When successful, the leader gives team members credit for their hard work.

Top 3 Coaches Recommendations for Teamwork
  1. Although you need to be concerned about what motivates each team member, it is also important to develop a unified purpose for the team. When motivating a team to accomplish an initiative, clearly describe the benefits to the organization and the team.
  2. As a team leader, you are responsible for providing opportunities for professional development for each person. Take steps to learn the strengths and weaknesses of each and help them create a personal development plan to guide their efforts to improve.
  3. Have a team meeting to establish team norms. These norms help guide your team, provide consistency, and help keep everyone on the same page.
Measure and Improve Your Teamwork Skills

Be determined to improve your teamwork skills and behaviors. Take the short teamwork self-assessment on this page to identify where to improve your teamwork skills and behaviors. Then, get more coaches’ recommendations in Chapter 34 of The Leadership Compass: Mapping Your Leadership Direction to help you fine-tune your teamwork skills and behaviors.

Related Competencies:



Measure your teamwork skills and behaviors!

Select your level of agreement with each statement in the self-assessment.
When answering the questions, consider how others might evaluate your teamwork.


Recommended Teamwork Books:

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