Nader said4 that a leader’s most important function is to create new leaders out of his or her team members. This is a difficult task and a huge responsibility for anyone. A leader also needs to make sure that these future leaders feel confident and empowered to take up the challenge of leadership. Being part of many teams, I have also had my share of leadership especially in school and organizational activities. In every group I led, I made sure that jobs were evenly distributed based on the expertise and interest of the person. The project should be a group effort.
I made sure that everyone shared their opinion and contributed in creating ideas and action plans. Although we did not and could not follow through on every single idea, knowing that their input was important and considered gave every member a feeling of empowerment and self-assurance. They felt more secure and trusting towards the team. It also made them more passionate and interested with working for the goal because they were part of the creation of this shared vision. Although it was not totally their own idea, they still helped shape the idea and did not feel compelled to work on something that was alien to them.
My experience as a member of the team helped me realize just how important team leaders are, as well as the influence they have over their members. Their simplest comment can cause teams to crumble or work harder. I appreciated learning how a leader’s action and beliefs can help shape the team’s performance because it made me aware of the responsibility now that I have chances of being a leader. I was fortunate enough to have experienced being handled by many good team leads. They gave me aspirations and understanding of what makes a good leader.
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I also appreciated being led by my negative–thinking lead. It has shown me what a leader should not be and gave me a lesson for discerning which ones I should follow. Conclusion In teams, we see the adage of strength in numbers is true. Most of the time, however, the strongest number is one. The team begins with one, and it will end if there is only one. Leaders are and need to be that one. They need to be the one who provides direction, inspiration, and strength for the entire team.
1. Church, AH. The power of teamwork--fact or fiction. Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Inc [online]. 2006; Available at: http://www. siop. org/tip%5Cbackissues%5Ctipoct96%5C/church. aspx. Accessed 25 November 2008.
2. Kouzes JM, Posner, BZ. The Leadership Challenge Workbook. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass; 2003.
3. Changing Minds.The leadership challenge. Available at: http://changingminds. org/books/book_reviews/kouzes_posner. htm. Accessed 15 January 2009.
4. Lewis, JJ. Leadership quotes. Wisdom Quotes. Available at: http://www. wisdomquotes. com/cat_leadership. html. Accessed 21 January 2009.
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