How do Good Managers Become Great Team Leaders?

Learn ⁠the ins and outs of developing excellent team leadership skills—all in a toolbox.

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Surviving the Pressure Cooker

It's actually quite hard to be both a good manager and a great team leader. There's somewhat a built-in conflict of interests—a polarity—between tasks and relationships. There is no quick fix to this polarity, but it can be managed.

 

The Key Leadership Qualities

I'm sure you know all about the managerial aspect of your job—that's probably why you got the job in the first place. But the leadership skills—the relationship part—chances are you're not 100% sure what that really means. Have a look then at this summary of the key leadership qualities.

Great team leaders have no issue being transparent. You must be self-aware and understand your own triggers. More importantly, you should have no trouble receiving input from others regardless of their position in the system.

Great team leaders show that they value others by trusting and believing in them. You must be receptive to the needs of others and often put them before yourself. You should listen well and without judgement to other people's concerns.

Great team leaders are always looking to build learning and growth into the work day of their team members. You must always look for the potential in others and consistently try to focus on building strength, instead of finding fault, in them.

Great team leaders set clear directions. Everyone on your team must understand where all of you are headed together. You should make sure that you are bringing the whole team along. No one must be left behind. Goals and expectations should also be clear to all.

Great team leaders are not afraid to share their power by delegating authority to team members. You must make room for others to grow and learn through their decisions. It also means that when things don't go as expected, you must be able to take responsibility and protect the team.

Great team leaders create a sense of belonging for all team members. You must make sure that everyone feels included and (psychologically) safe. You should continuously emphasize that the core quality of a great team is diversity in its members' skills, perspectives and opinions.

Do you possess all of the key leadership qualities?

It's all right if you can't answer right away. You can do a self-assessment later using the printable version of the qualities and find out opportunities for your development.

Managing the Pressure Cooker

Have you ever wondered after a long shift, "There has got to be an easier way to do this?" Well, I did. Here's how I worked my way to it.

 

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