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There are those who think that 'team leader' is just another name for 'the boss'

Such people are in serious need of cognitive re-programming!

Generic role definitions for Team Leaders
Solo Leaders and Team Leaders

Generic role definition for Team Leaders

Armstrong M (1996) A Handbook of Personnel Management Practice; Kogan Page ISBN 07494 2028 6

Overall purpose of role:

To lead teams in order to attain team goals and further the achievement of the organisation’s objectives.

Key Result Areas:

bulletagree targets and standards with team members which support the achievement of the organization’s objectives
bulletplan with team members work schedules and resource requirements which will ensure that team targets will be reached, indeed exceeded.
bulletagree performance measures and quality assurance processes with team members
bulletcoordinate the work of the team to ensure that team goals are achieved
bulletensure that the team members collectively monitor the team’s performance in terms of achieving output, speed of response and quality targets and standards
bulletagree with team members any corrective action required to ensure that team goals are achieved
bulletconduct team reviews of performance to agree improvement plans
bulletconduct individual reviews of performance to agree areas for improvement and personal development plans
bulletrecommend appropriate team performance rewards and individual rewards related to the acquisition and effective use of skills and capabilities


bulletbuilds effective team relationships, ensuring that team members are committed to the common purpose
bulletencourages self-direction amongst team members but provides guidance and clear direction as required
bulletshares information with team members
bullettrusts team members to get on with things - not continually checking
bullettreats team members fairly and consistently
bulletsupports and guides team members to make the best use of their capabilities
bulletencourages self-development by example
bulletactively offers constructive feedback to team members and positively seeks and is open to constructive feedback from them
bulletcontributes to the development of team members, encouraging the acquisition of additional skills and providing opportunities for them to be used effectively

Solo Leaders and Team Leaders

Belbin M (1993) Team Roles at Work; Butterworth/Heinemann ISBN 0 7506 0925 7

The idea of Team Leadership is becoming increasingly popular around the world. Belbin reckons that there are two main reasons for this:

We are living in a world of increasing uncertainty where things are changing quite dramatically and often very quickly. One person can no longer understand all of this and provide the direction needed to cover every situation.

Team leadership is the only form of leadership that is acceptable in a society where power is shared and so many people are nearly equal.

As dictators fall, whether in the state or in industry, people are looking for a type of leadership other than one that comes down from high above.


Solo Leader

Team Leader


Projects the idea that he knows everything best (interferes)

Chooses to limit his roles and delegates other roles to those who can do better


Strives for conformity - tries to make everybody be the same

Builds of diversity - values the differences in different people


Collects admirers and ‘yes men’

Seeks talented people and does not feel threatened by them


Tells subordinates what to do

Encourages colleagues to use their particular strengths in their own way


Management by Objectives - makes it clear exactly what everyone is supposed to do

Creates Mission - helps to clarify the vision which others act on as they think best.



Plays an unlimited role and interferes in everything that goes on

Takes on those roles in which he is strong and delegates to others who are strong where he is weak


Personally ‘knows’ what is ‘best’ and tries to make everybody go along with this personal vision

Appreciates that people are different and makes allowance for their strengths and weaknesses


Does not take kindly to criticism. Prefers people who do what they are told.

Tries to attract and keep hold of people with the special abilities that the team needs


Expects subordinates to follow instructions and not to think for themselves (lack of trust)

Trusts colleagues to make best use of the strengths and encourages them to overcome their weaknesses


Plans everything in advance and expects everybody to follow the plan exactly

Expects and encourages colleagues to be creative in finding ways of making the dream come true