6 Qualities to Look for in a Good Team Leader


When it comes to getting projects done, there’s no one better than a good team leader. Whether they’re leading an entire team or just one or two other people, the right person in this role can make all the difference to your success and growth as an organization or company. As you choose your next team leader, consider these six qualities that are important to have.

A good team leader leads by example

A good team leader knows that they need to be out there with their team every day, doing whatever needs to be done. There’s no way around it; if you want your team members to work hard and act as professionals, you need to act like one too. Let them see how much work it takes and remind them that, hey, even a CEO has to do some dirty work once in a while. It’s an attitude that’ll stick with your team and make them all better employees at their jobs. When someone comes to you complaining about being stuck on a project or not having enough time to get something done, try setting up an example by offering up your services and giving them what they need.

You may find yourself surprised at just how willing people are to pitch in when they know someone else is watching. This is also great practice for being able to motivate others while showing them what it means to be dedicated, responsible, and loyal – traits of any good leader.
This post was submitted by James Reidy. If you have interesting ideas about topics related specifically or more generally to leadership, leadership development, followership, or other topics relating broadly but directly to business management (e.g., strategy execution, organizational design ) email me via my contact page.

A good team leader respects everyone

The first key quality you should look for in a good team leader is respect. Respect everyone’s opinion, no matter how out-there it may seem. As anyone who’s worked with children knows, kids don’t automatically respect adults—they must be taught to do so. The same is true of teams: if you want your team members to respect you, then they need to see you respecting them first. You don’t have to like everything they say or agree with their opinions; but as long as their words or actions aren’t offensive and/or hurtful, then it doesn’t matter what they’re saying or doing; let them speak their minds because that’s how people feel heard and understood.

A good team leader handles conflicts quickly

One of your main duties as team leader is handling conflicts between team members. You should be careful not to let these conflicts fester, but rather deal with them as soon as they come up. If you let conflicts sit, they can build and grow into resentment or even toxicity among team members. You must identify and resolve any issue right away so that it doesn’t turn into something larger. Your ability to make quick decisions will put your employees at ease, giving them confidence in your leadership skills while also ensuring everyone is heard on issues that affect them personally.

A good team leader provides opportunities to learn and grow

Some companies hire new team members and give them little more than busywork. When we’re on such teams, we feel like drones rather than valued contributors—and that’s not good for retention. A good leader understands that every member of their team deserves opportunities to learn and grow, rather than just getting stuck doing rote tasks day after day. That kind of structure allows employees to move up within an organization if they are excited about growing with it—and makes them much less likely to jump ship at some point down the road.

One study showed that managers who encourage learning and growth experience an average turnover rate of 15 percent (as opposed to 35 percent among those who don’t). So even though developing your team is time-consuming in the short term, it can save you money in terms of long-term recruitment costs.
As a result, team leaders have higher levels of engagement: You might think being able to do interesting work or take on leadership roles would make people happy at work.

A good team leader focuses on results, not tasks

A good team leader knows how to divide and conquer. Instead of micromanaging every aspect of their team’s work, they delegate tasks and then hold people accountable. If you notice your boss fixating on tiny details and being unhappy with sub-par results, it might be time for you to start looking for another job opportunity. A good team leader focuses on outcomes, not methods: A great way to show what type of manager you are is by demonstrating flexibility over procedures rather than sticking too rigidly with one strategy or approach. A good team leader sets clear expectations and can think outside the box when problems arise. At times, that means trying new approaches even if it means adjusting processes or taking more time to ensure success.

Good team leader knows their roles and responsibilities

Have you ever heard of an orchestra without a conductor? A company without a CEO? While these positions are vital, they rely on different people to keep them afloat. The same can be said about team leaders and team members. A good leader should not only know their role but what everyone else’s is as well. When someone steps out of line, they need to know how to fix it—not just delegate it. If your boss has trouble doing that, then maybe it’s time to find another one.

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