There was a time when a team leader was selected. Nowadays, team leaders are elected. There is a humongous change in the attitude between both the approaches. Earlier, people who used to perform the best, had a go-getter attitude and had natural leading abilities were automatically promoted as team leaders by the management. However, the tea leaders nowadays aren’t selected by the management, but are elected by the members of the team themselves.
Today, a person whom the rest of the team unanimously, or in majority, vote as the one they are most comfortable working under is elected the team leader. In short, the focus has shifted from individual performance to group dynamics and interpersonal skills.
The reason behind this is while a good performer as the team leader will inspire the rest of the team to also do well, the team leader himself might be too obsessed with the team performance to be worried about the team members themselves. Also, because of his good record, he might himself not be familiar with failure, so when people in his team don’t deliver, he would mistake their genuine failure as either indiscipline or willful deviance.
An elected team leader, on the other hand, will share a personal equation with all of his teammates, which gives him a good insight into their strengths and weaknesses. When the time of delegating responsibilities comes, he will know whom to assign what work. The selected team-leader will rather hand over responsibilities as per his whims and fancies, and them compel people to provide good results. As he himself is a good performer, he would deem every work doable by everyone else too, so people will naturally hesitate in telling him that they aren’t good in a particular field.
In today’s world, if a person wants to be successful as a team leader, then he needs to ask himself a couple of fundamental questions −
What leadership does my team want and what type of leader will inspire them?
What changes I need to make in my attitude, personality, and behavior to be that person?
In such teams, it is common to find one person responsible for the completion of a task walking up to the expert on that task in their team, who in-turn might have been assigned a different task!