Leading Through the Phases of Team Development
In his book “Winning ‘em Over”, Jay Conger claims the business world has moved beyond command and control into the age of influence and persuasion. Every individual needs to contribute to their fullest potential regardless of hierarchy, position or title. Leading through fear and intimidation crushes creativity, diminishes enthusiasm, and undermines the long-term success of an organization. But leaders cannot simply hand over control to their people. Leaders must adapt their style to the readiness of their people and teams. Paul Hersey’s Situational Leadership model offers guidance on the leadership behavior most appropriate to various levels of follower readiness. As follower capability and confidence increases, effective leaders move from directive behavior to influencing, then to a more facilitative role with shared control, and finally to delegation, where responsibility for many decisions and all implementation is in the hands of the followers. Leaders who are able to delegate effectively can focus on strategic issues with greater impact. And yet even extremely accomplished people find it very difficult to delegate to competent team members. Teams also evolve through phases of development. The Tuckman model labels these phases “Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning”. Each phase of individual and team development requires changes in leadership behaviors in order to achieve optimal results. The result is a high-performing team where the leader is freed from daily tactical tasks to focus on more strategic issues. High-performing teams prioritize effectively, and use time to best advantage. They share control and make better decisions by including diverse perspectives. They optimize results while managing the over-commitment of resources. They do capacity planning and make a solid case for reasonable commitment of resources to avoid the huge productivity hit of excessive multi-tasking. This module will enable you to understand the phases of follower readiness and team development, and how you can successfully adapt your leadership approach in order get the best performance from your people.