What traits does a team leader need? Team leaders work in every sector or industry, so a team leader should know the fundamentals whether they work in the health sector, software development, or finance. However, what is more critical is that a team leader possesses certain characteristics that engage and motivate others.
This article explains why someone with charisma and integrity, a natural ability to listen, and the confidence to delegate rather than micromanage will be a natural leader. This article looks at the roles and responsibilities of team leaders, the specific traits and qualities that make them successful, and provides a template for a team manager job description.
Team leaders need excellent people and problem-solving skills. Hopefully, the career of a team leader will lead them to a managerial position and, ultimately, senior leadership. Here are some of the roles a team leader plays on their way.
The team leader must oversee the team and make sure it is on task. Part of management is monitoring the progress and performance of the team according to predetermined metrics, such as productivity, adhering to budgets, and making improvements in various areas. Determining how the team will measure success by setting metrics prevents miscommunication. It informs team members what the expectations are and encourages collaboration.
The team leader is also charged with managing any conflicts that occur within the team or that occur between the team and other areas of the organization. Because teams are made up of people with different personalities, work traits, and motivations, conflicts occur. By setting ground rules, clearly assigning tasks, and checking in regularly with team members, a team leader can prevent many sources of conflict.
For more on managing conflict in the workplace, read “Conflict Resolution Skills in the Workplace.”
The team leader must set strategy to achieve overall goals. This involves helping teams to approach problems in a way that aligns with the overall goals of the department or organization. The team leader should be an innovative thinker and come up with new ways to achieve the team’s goals.
The team leader must communicate to the teams what their tasks are. They will also receive information and feedback from their team. Team leaders will report to upper management on team progress and results and explain how implementing their strategy advances organizational goals.
A team leader is an organizer. The team leader builds teams and assigns them to tasks. The team leader must also manage the career development and training for their team members and conduct performance reviews. An effective team leader coaches members and develops team members’ performance, offers feedback, and clearly communicates the desired skills and expected work ethic.
The team leader identifies the strengths and weaknesses of team members and assigns tasks accordingly. By determining which team member excels at which task, the team leader can optimize team effectiveness.
The team leader will be responsible for allocating resources to the teams and should also be skilled in relaying what the team needs to get their job done to upper management.
No matter what sector or business a team leader is engaged in, four traits differentiate an effective team leader from an ineffective one. They are charisma, a natural listener, a delegator, and integrity. Let’s look at each one.
Charisma is a trait that the most successful U.S presidents share. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklyn D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama all possessed compelling personas that inspired respect and devotion from others.
The skill to attract and motivate followers to perform at high levels and be committed to a cause comes naturally to some and makes them a great people person. This innate ability makes managing people instinctual, which may explain why some people naturally gravitate to a leadership position whether they intend to or not.
How do you feel when you talk to someone who only talks about themselves? Do you notice when the conversation is one-way, and the other person doesn’t even ask you a question? Does it seem like they are not really interested in you?
Most of us like people who seek our opinions or want to learn about us. We engage more and warm to the other person. In contrast, we are likely to tune out of a one-way conversation.
Good leaders know how to listen. They are genuinely interested in others and hearing what they have to say. A team leader who practices active listening shows they want to get to know the team and help them reach their goals. Being a good active listener is half the battle when it comes to people management, resolving conflicts, and making decisions,
A good team manager knows their job is to oversee the team, not to get bogged down in the details of operations. This requires them to delegate tasks and free up time to manage.
A leader then must allocate tasks wisely and trust their team to do their job. They are, therefore, not micromanagers but confident delegators who support others who take on responsibility and accountability. Also, a good leader and delegator allows room for mistakes because they understand that breakthroughs occur only through mistakes.
If staff are given responsibility and allowed to make mistakes instead of being micro-managed and punished for errors, they tend to be more innovative and motivated. According to the non-profit organization ASE , “If you give ... people a certain level of autonomy, they will take pride in what they do and how they do it.”
What is your opinion of your leader? Do you admire them or consider them not up to the task? A leader with integrity and good ethics is respected and trusted because others notice their consistent and high standards. Leaders concerned with the well-being of the community, not themselves, stand out and are not always easy to find.
The culture that exists within an organization reflects its leadership. If the leadership of an organization practices egalitarian and progressive policies, such as diversity, work-life balance, and a safe working environment, the chances are these values will trickle down throughout the structure. On the other hand, if leadership is concerned only with profits, cares little about the well-being of its staff, and shows questionable business practices, the rest of the organization will model similar immoral behavior because it is normalized and may even be rewarded.
Below is an example of a template for a team leader job description. The leadership skills listed on job descriptions will vary depending on the business and its operations.
Accudata is seeking a team leader to take our product suite to the next level. The team leader will manage a team of software engineers to optimize dev-ops and our product pipeline to reach company goals.
Are you a dynamic thinker and a role model? We are looking for someone with a track record of finding unique and compelling ways to execute a project strategy to fulfill the responsibilities of a team leader. Do you have a vision for the future? Are you enthusiastic about motivating teams and driving them to perform at their best? Are you a people person with a natural ability to lead, guide, and mentor? If so, we'd love to hear from you.
Our company culture is a progressive one based on respect for diverse opinions, and our leadership seeks the input of all employees and team members. We expect our leaders to be open to new ideas and ready to act on new product mandates. We offer a competitive salary and believe in a manageable workload with flexible working hours.
Drive the day-to-day operations of the project team goals according to company policies.
Motivate, organize, and guide the team to achieve organizational goals.
Set strategy, timelines, and benchmarks to keep projects and team performance on target and on budget.
Allocate resources and delegate tasks to team members.
Manage the team members' career development and training, including conducting quarterly performance reviews.
Lead team members with skills to build confidence, product knowledge, and communication skills.
Conduct team meetings and individual one-one-ones.
Manage conflicts and disputes and maintain a supportive and inspirational team-building working environment.
Report to senior management on teamwork and present weekly reviews.
Collaborate with hiring managers to recruit and onboard new employees who are team players.
Bachelor's degree in computer science or equivalent (high school diploma will be considered with relevant IT skills and work experience).
Minimum of 2 years of experience as a team leader.
Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to effectively interact with different levels of management.
Confidence and skillful decision-making and negotiating skills.
Strong organizational and time management skills.
Innovative thinker and excellent communication skills.
Now you have a good idea of what it takes to be a team leader, find out how to prepare a resume that will showcase your team manager traits and get you hired.
To find out how to create an outstanding resume, read "https://www.placement.com/learn/creating-resumes-tailored-specific-jobs."