April 21, 2009

Does a Team Need a Leader

Does a team of peers need a leader? Or can it go as a synergic team?

It is very common in teams of peers to claim that no leader is needed and that things can go well amongst them. But is this the case in reality? Are successful teams "headless"?

I believe, out of noticing teams and working in them, that teams with no leader weree always unproductive, uncontrolled teams which no decision can be taken easily and effectively. I believe, that each team, whether of peers or a hierarchial one, needs a leader to facilitate the team work and, in case of urgencies, have the final word.

Some teams on the other hand, would say that they managed to do well without a leader? Would that be true?

It is quite noticeable, that teams that contains members of strong personality and good leadership skills would witness emergent leaders within them. Those leaders, emerging either because of personality or skills, would have a recongizable strong influence on their peers. Nevertheless, such teams (specially bigger ones) would always facs the risk of conflicts if more than one leader emerged, creating circles of power within the team which might bring the team's efficiency to the grounds.

- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. And again it depends on so many variables I think. It depends on the nature of the task, on the members’ personality, on their emotion intelligence and maturity.

    There are some times that the team is getting into long, non-end discussions; consuming time and energy doing “nothing”. There are also some teams that are getting to conflict about “power” and who was the write to take decisions or not…. And we very often see teams not performing well because there is no someone to ensure the coordination.

    I think that there is no write answer to this question, but I am quite sure that in a team with equal qualified members it would be more reasonable that every time, depends on the project, a different leader would emerge. I think the unhealthiest situation for a team (even worse than non having a leader at all) is to have a leader that takes his position as granted and doesn’t improve his/her self or the team.

    21 Apr 2009, 02:13

  2. I beleive that a team needs leader(s), though they might not be prominent and/or necessarily visible. Take for example, our first day of LE, we did not realise that Konstantina was a leader till later.

    I beleive that in our team, we are all leaders, so whoever has a good idea that person is followed. One might say that we follow ideas more than the people themselves. However, this does lead to better solutions and fosters an environment where everyone is contributing.

    And as was stated in our discussion, by participating in many in-module exercises where we have been both leaders and followers, we learned what is required to be effective in both roles. Nonetheless, it is helpful to have a leader who at least provides a framework for decision making and ensures that the team does not go off a tangent.

    Although, I do agree that more than one leader in a team may lead to conflicts, it is possible to have more than one leader if each leader has an independent functions and responsibilities.

    24 Apr 2009, 15:35

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