A team leader is someone who provides guidance, instruction, direction and leadership to a group of other individuals for the purpose of achieving a key result or a group of aligned results. The team leader is specifically responsible for achieving the objectives set for the team. In order to achieve these goals, the team leader must have the ability to plan, organise and control the work to be done and requires leadership, motivational and communication skills.
- Planning: The team leader must be capable of setting objectives for a team. This involves being able to identify trends and prepare plans to take advantage of opportunities. Once the objectives are set, they must be broken down into smaller, more achievable steps.
- Organising: Team leaders must be able to make the plan happen by putting together the finances, equipment and other resources needed. The leader must then delegate responsibilities to team members so that the plan is achieved in an effective and efficient manner.
- Controlling: The team leader must ensure that plans stay on target by regularly monitoring the team’s progress. The team leader must have the ability to identify deviations from original plans and make adjustments where necessary.
Effective team leaders must also be good leaders, motivators and communicators.
- Leadership: Effective team leaders are able to influence team members and get them to work towards achieving the goals of the team. As leaders they should be confident, decisive and capable of inspiring other members as well as earning their trust and respect. Team leaders should set the example of the behaviour they expect throughout the team.
- Motivators: Team leaders must be capable of getting the team members to contribute their best effort. This involves providing suitable incentives and rewards.
- Communicators: The team leader should be able to communicate well with other team members. They should be good listeners as well as clear communicators.