Teamwork And Leadership Skills Management Essay
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An organization is a formal group of people with one or more shared goals. Organisation has people working for them with the sole motive of making profits for the company. It is rightly said by Lewis B. Ergen, "The ratio of We's to I's is the best indicator of the development of a team".
According to Henry Ford "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success". The concept of two or more people working collectively is called a team. It is also define by the Webster's dictionary that teamwork is a combined action by a group of people who keep their personal interest and opinions aside for the unity and integrity of the group. Though this is a definition but it does not imply that the individual people in the organisation are not important unless they are in a group. Meaning or definition of teamwork, in general terms means that efficient and effective team efforts are always ahead of the individual's reach. The best result of teamwork is produced when all individual in the group are focused towards one common objective or goal.
In order to inspire the employees to a greater level, companies need a Leader. I believe in the saying that 'Leaders are made not born'. Anyone who has the willpower and the desire can be a potential leader. Leaders can be developed by proper education, experience over the years and the right training. Over the period of time, the leaders also have to keep them up-to-date by the process of continuous learning.
Thus, leadership is a process which is used to motivate other people in order to achieve the desired goals and objectives of the company. A perfect example of a leader is Mahatma Gandhi, who fought the non-violence fight for the freedom of his nation, India, having the entire nation as his follower.
ROLE OF TEAMWORK
Over the years, teamwork has become an extremely important term for any company. It has been laid down in the culture at workplace and hence making it a major and crucial part of the selection process for many companies. All companies understand the importance and the wonders what team can do. Organisations believer that nothing is impossible if all great minds, work together. There is a very famous saying that there is "no 'I' in the word 'Team'." Having teams can result in faster and efficient outputs with better decision making skills.
The various advantages of teamwork for all organisations are:
It improves profitability as well as productivity as all the employees are highly motivated and skilled.
There is a major reduction in wastage which in turn reduces the cost. A team leader constantly keeps a regular check on the quality of the products.
The level of motivation within employees is also increased due to development of the personnel by exchange of great thoughts and idea within teams. Recognition of individual members within teams also motivates member to put more efforts.
It also leads to low turnover rate of absenteeism is also reduced as employees develop a sense of belonging towards the company.
All complex issues or decision are handled in a better manner and at a faster rate.
Therefore, the all critical issues of the company are dealt with greater variety of knowledge experience and skill.
ROLE OF LEADERSHIP
A leader needs to perform the following to remain on his position.
Encourages the heart - A leader should enjoy all the moment of glory with the followers whereas try to restrict the sad news away from them.
Enable others to act - It is extremely important for a leader to provide other with all possible tools and ideas at the leaders disposal to the members which could help in quicker decision making.
Model the way - the basic difference between a manager and a leader is that a manager will tell others what to do and how to do it , whereas a leader will actually perform the task himself and then ask others to follow by doing the same.
Challenge the process - A leader also brings about change in the organisation. Since the managers role is to guide what he has bee told by the top management but leader, initiates new developments and seeks things for improvement.
Inspire a shared vision - A good leader should never hide anything from his followers. The leaders should share all his ideas and plans with the followers.
Leadership theory & models can explain more
Bass' Theory of Leadership
In order to understand, how normal people can become Leaders, we can analyse Bass' theory of leadership which says there are three major theories which can explain this phenomena:
People are born with difference in traits or personalities that may naturally take the individual to perform leadership role. This theory is known as the trait theory.
In case of a crisis or a deadly situation, the person who stands up on that moment which brings out the astonishing qualities in a normal man is called the Great Events theory.
Some people can choose to become leaders and learn the required leadership skills. This theory is called the transformational or process theory of leadership. It is widely used theory these days, universities and colleges are having special courses and lecture to guide students who plan to become great leaders of the future.
CHARECTORSTICKS OF A TEAM IN A WORKPLACE
Leadership- it is important for all teams to have a leader who could provide them with right direction and guide them. The leader of the team should not consider himself above the team members, A team leaders is the one who work as a part of team, keeping all members joined together.
Clear goal- all members of the team should have a clear idea of what has to be done. The objectives should be SMART, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound.
Results-driven structure- the teams should be given some freedom from the management in order to try different ways in which they feel that the output can improve. The team leader should have enough authority to change things around a little.
All competent team members- it is vitially important for any team to have good team members. One bad fish can dirty the entire pond, similarly, if one member is not contributing as expected of him, the work is divided among other member of the team.
Unified commitment- the member should only have one common goal and not few separate individual goals as difference in motives might lead to conflicts within teams.
Collaborative climate- A team must posses a climate that has clouds full of trust, respect and honesty among the team members for each other as well as the team leader.
High standards- it is very important for the leader to set a high standard for the members as they should know what is expected from them. Just by having bold meeting and saying big words won't make any difference, the leader has to perform his duty and demonstrate how are things needed to be done.
External support and encouragement- A team comprises of many individuals, all oh who are thirsty for appreciation and encouragement from their managers and leaders for the efforts. Motivation also plays a key role in better output of a team.
CHARACTERISTIC OR FACTORS OF LEADERSHIP
Leader- A team leader should be honest, intelligent, and understanding person, who should know his capabilities and capacity. The level of success of the leader is determined by the followers and not the leader himself therefore, in order to be a good and successful leader, the person should be able to convince his followers about the things he can achiever by their support and hard work.
Followers- different companies require different kinds of leaders and their abilities. A company like Anita Rodrick's Body Shop requires a leader to be human oriented, who could lead the team by motivating them at every step and consider the followers as a part of the business, whereas in companies like MacDonald's, a followers are normal part time staff members, who learn the job in a day and thus need a leader with close supervision.
Communication- two-way communication is the key for any successful teamwork in any company. Communication forms a very basis of any team, mostly the non-verbal form. It is very important that the leader communicates his vision across to all the members and the members in return communicate their responses to the change and how can they contribute towards it.
Situation- it is extremely important for a leader to be able to adapt him-self according to the changing situations on a daily basis. For instance a people-oriented leader, who usually tends to soft towards employees, has to take a firm decision of telling some one they can't go on leave due to high work pressures, and deadlines.
The situation normally has more impact on the leaders act rather than his traits due to the fact that, leaders can stabilise their inner traits over a period of time but difference in situations is the real test for any leader. Due to this reason many authors have claimed the situational theory more effective than the process or the trait theory.
BELBIN'S TEAM ROLES
If a team wishes to have 100% success, the members should have one of the following eight roles formulated by Dr, Meredith Belbin, called as the Belbin team roles.
These roles are:
The MONITOR-EVALUATOR, one who contributes a specific study by the help of objectivity and stops.
The PLANT is a member who has original ideas, solutions, suggestions and plans.
TEAM WORKER performs even if other members fail to contribute their respective part of the work and works even under immense work pressures.
The IMPLEMENTOR is the person who, implements the taken decision into meaningful information and implements the decision into manageable tasks.
The RESOURCE INVESTIGATOR is a member who thinks out of the box and gathers information from all possible sources and starts the discussion e.g. sales people of the team.
The CO-ORDINATOR is the one who combine all the other members together and reminds the member of their task and set objectives on a daily basis in order to lay down the daily agenda.
The SHAPER provides direction and shape to the team and their efforts, but does not really interfere in the discussion.
The FINISHER is the one who keeps reminding all the member of the deadline and the urgency being a bit hard.
Thus, as discussed above, that different situations require different team member's contribution. For instance- all new teams would require a good shaper, competitive situations would require an innovator, who could provide innovative ideas to have a differentiated product or service.
The main reason that affect any team is its-
Purpose and mission
The most important and the basic requirement for any team for be successful is to have clear purpose and mission of the company which explains the team, what they have to do and then they make their own short and long term goals in order to decide how to achieve them.
We can illustrate motivation by a simple hypothetical situation. In a construction company project, there are group of electricians hired to perform all the work related to making cable terminals. The company assumed they would work together, after two months, all the electricians were about to leave the job on asking the reason, they explained that they were having issues with maintaining their focus as they could not maintain their interest in their jobs because some of them were conduit specialist, some being good at cable trays while other who did not directly work with cable terminals. Thus the company got the problem and realised that is the purpose of any job is different between members they will tend to have conflicts and result in lack of motivation as well.
Along with clear purpose and mission, motivation has also be described as a key element of the driving factors behind a successful team. If the teams are not fully motivated by their leaders, how ever the big company is, whatever the money involved is, without inner drive or the urge to attain something is missing, nothing could be achieved. It it is the prime duty of the team leader to keep his team highly motivated and make them ready to crack and hard rock that comes on their way to success.
I work in Mark &Spencer for the past two years in London; we have a busy retail outlet. Recently, during the Christmas period, our Sales Team leader/ supervisor in the store had to take a leave for 2 weeks. Being the most experienced member after him, I had to take the responsibility on my shoulders and ensure that the targets of the team weren't hampered due to his absence. At the beginning it all seemed out of place, i)various tasks needed to be completed for Christmas ii) I was the youngest member of the team yet the leader of the lot. This is where my degree in Business management came to be applied, through application theories and techniques learnt at University, I was able to become the leader of the team, having an approach of management of commitment and not management of control, along with other management skills like planning, implementation, delegation, control I was able to run the store smoothly for those 2 weeks.
Working in M&S, we mostly have a team of 15 employees working in a shift, along with 2 supervisors and 2 line managers. We are always busy during special days like Valentines and Christmas day, during Christmas time, our store was really busy and we were also short of staff being the festival season. There was a team of 7 employees and 3 being new Christmas staff. I was the most experienced staff at that point of time and all my supervisors assigned me work, so I had to co-ordinate that work among my team members and I had to act as a team leader. I asked them to divide the task in different sections and try to finish it as soon as possible and then let me know when they were done and by this we reached are daily targets and the managers appreciated my work and contribution towards sales.
Thus, teamwork is an essential feature for all modern companies. They believe if all their employees are equipped with good teamwork skills, it can also lead to their competitive edge and hence teamwork has been laid down in the recruitment and selection process of the workforce in order to get the right man, for the right job at the right place and at the right time. Teamwork, without a leader is like boat in the middle of the sea but have no idea where to float. The leader along with providing direction also binds the team together and aligns all the members towards the company's goal. A good leader and a strong team is all a company needs in order to capture any market in the modern world.
Thought not always all members get along well, the problems with teams are, many a times not all members contribute equally and like to pas the buck onto other shoulders, thinking that they would not be caught by anyone. But due this reason there are taken out of the team and new member is introduced. It is the duty of the leader to make sure all members in the team are happy with each other and performing to a level that will take them towards success.