Unit 4: Leadership and Teams
Throughout this course, we define managers as people who work with and through other people to accomplish the goals of an organization. One important managerial function we have not yet touched upon is motivation, or the ability to persuade and inspire others to commit to an organization and its goals. A good leader must be a good manager if he or she wishes to get a lot accomplished. In order to get work done, managers must often foster collaboration between employees so that individuals with different skills from different parts of a company can successfully contribute to projects. The concept of collaboration has evolved into the practice of creating teams comprising specific individuals with complementary skills who gather around a common purpose. This purpose might include accomplishing a specific task, addressing a particular problem, revising an internal company process, etc.
The term team is used so frequently today that the meaning of this concept is often diluted. Still, contemporary companies and organizations rely on the efforts of different kinds of teams, and many times an organization will pull together teams with members scattered over multiple locations – even multiple countries – in an effort to bring together the skills and competencies needed to address a significant task.
One of the key roles of any manager is to establish the goals and purposes of a team and to select appropriate team members. From there, the team will more or less independently work to accomplish its purpose under the supervision of a leader, who must organize and manage the team effectively.
What does a successful team look like? Would you be surprised to know that the best teams actually experience conflicts? In fact, conflict can be a productive force capable of generating new ideas and multiple options for consideration. The key is to avoid letting professional conflict spill over into personal relationships, a task that is difficult to achieve without careful study and practice. In this unit, you will look at the different stages of group development in order to learn how to create a successful team and avoid the common pitfalls of working with a team.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 7 hours.