Capability to manage a team effectively is one of the main qualities which any employee seeking success needs to possess. However, the position of a leader requires many outstanding skills, and it may be very challenging at times. According to Sun Tzu, Chinese General who lived in the 5th century B.C., “when one has all 5 virtues together: intelligence, trustworthiness, humanness, courage, sternness, each appropriate to its function, then one can be a leader”.
The combination of these qualities can very rarely be seen in people’s characters, therefore not everybody can be a good leader. Leadership means the ability to influence other people and guide them to the success. During many centuries it has been believed that the key to success in a team lies in the skills of the manager. No company can remain on top unless it has an outstanding manager who guides it into the right direction.
The task of leading 3 members of the team in a philanthropic organization with 1 million dollars capital is very challenging, and it requires the leader to have deep understanding of the tasks which are set before the team. In order to manage the team efficiently, first of all I need to get a full idea of the characters of employees in the team. It’s very important to understand the group members from the very beginning, and become a part of their group. All the members of the team have similar working skills because they all have worked in the consulting field for a long time. Since A.T. Kearney consulting company has very high requirements for its employees, there is no need for me as a leader to worry about the employees’ knowledge and capability to perform. They are all very knowledgeable in the consulting field. They all have lots of experience in consulting companies and government.
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Besides, all the employees have very good communication skills, outstanding problem-solving skills, creativity and capability to learn new things fast which are all required in consulting. However, the task of the leader is to manage the team in such a way that all the skills which the members of the team possess turn out applied at their maximum. This task is very complicated because “building the winning team requires more than just hiring a bunch of talented people.
It means hiring people who will work well together. It means developing a shared vision and commitment. It means physically bringing people together in formal group meetings for open discussion of broad-based issues. It means encouraging positive, informal interactions between group members. It means instilling a “winning" attitude throughout the organization. It means watching for and quickly trying to reverse team-building problems such as jealousy, cynicism, and defensive behavior.” /www.businesstown.com/
My task of building a winning team is not easy to achieve because I need to show to members of the team first my capability of being a leader. The team needs to know that they are managed by a strong leader who is able to guide them to the success. The members of the team need to perceive me as a leader, even though some of them may be even more experienced than me in the field of consulting. However, through showing my undoubtedly good leadership skills, brilliance, good knowledge of consulting, deep insight, setting correct and realistic goals for the members, choosing right forms of motivation for them, I can become a leader against whom they will not rebel but will want to cooperate with.
The most important issue in managing the team is choosing the right form of motivation for them. Since all people are different, all the employees in the team need different forms of motivation. For some employees, only money works, and they don’t get motivated by any other benefits. For others, there is nothing more important than social recognition of their efforts. Other employees will care about the possibilities of future promotion in case of their successful performance. Therefore, in order to manage the team effectively, the first task to do is to define where the needs of employees fall in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
After some communication with the members of the team it was easy to discover that out of three employees two are very ambitious. They have a very high need of esteem. They need to be praised for the work they do, get recognition from senior-level management, be aware about the possibilities of their future promotion, and fulfill tasks which require lots of responsibility, like consulting the largest and the most important clients of the company. These employees are very experienced in the consulting field, they have already made large contributions into the company’s success, and therefore they can be motivated only through getting more and more complicated tasks to fulfill.
The third member of the team is not as success-oriented, and he is not as experienced. He is rather knowledgeable in consulting but he doesn’t seek promotion because he is quite happy with his present work. Therefore, he can be motivated by money awards and praise for his work because his needs fall into the category of belonginess and love.
The next step of successful management of the team is defining relationships between employees, and making a sociogram which identifies the types of interactions within the social network. Without the knowledge of interactions between the employees, there is no way to manage the team effectively. In order to manage the members of the team, it’s useful at times to apply the approach of influencing some members of the team through other members. It’s necessary to identify the member of the team who has the strongest influence on other members because teams are usually aligned to such employees.
The last step of managing the team is choosing the leadership style. In order to manage the team effectively, the leader can apply the following styles when managing the team: supporting, directive, coercive, “transformational leadership” styles. Each of them has special recommendations for usage in different situations. For example, supporting and “transformation leadership” styles are very efficient in situations when a new leader comes into the organization, and seeks to establish warm relations with all the members of the team.
Directive and coercive styles can work only in the teams which welcome this style and are ready to fulfill all the management’s assignments. However, nowadays such employees are quite rare, therefore, in my work, it’s necessary to combine the styles. I should be supportive in many situations but I should also be directive in certain issues when I know that I’m providing the most efficient policy.
It’s very difficult to make the team function effectively, but this task can be achieved through the right choices of employees’ motivation and leadership style. The field of consulting requires a leader with good communication skills, able to provide success-oriented policy, capable of solving all the possible problems which may arise in the team. Due to my strong leadership skills, good analytical skills, capability to achieve all of the goals I set for myself, I can guarantee success to the team I’m managing.
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