Leadership in Team Work for Community Services
Leadership defined is the nonverbal as well as verbal communication which facilitates a team’s transactional and task processes in attaining the goals and needs as set by the team members. This implies that communication is a very key aspect of leadership and depicts how leadership is exercised while transactional as well as the processes to perform are how the goals or needs will be met. Currently, leadership is not the responsibility of only one person and especially in a community service; leadership entails dealing with a number of group members and incorporating the entire community serving team for the benefit of the community and also to achieve the set goals. According to Maxwell, leadership is a collection of skills related to many facets such as “respect, experience, strength, people skills, discipline, vision, momentum, and timing” and that the leader will always have to use certain techniques to learn and make considerable improvements on skills he/she needs in order to carry out the function as stipulated effectively (2000).In the case of leadership within the community or group, the leader must endevour to train the team members that responsibility is an important role for all.
According to Lumsden, Lumsden and Wiethoff, state that there has to be differentiation between providing leadership and being the leaders since the two are commensurate. Providing leadership is a set of behaviours while being the leader is a position. They state categorically that providing leadership means responsibility and facilitation while one who is being a leader would depend on some status or power (2009). Many different theories and explanations of leadership have been developed due to interest in leadership as a practice and research topic. A formula that proposes that leadership process is a function of the leader, team members and other situational variables is used to define leadership (DuBrin, 2009).
Emphasis is made that leadership is a function of both the leader and the led with the complexities of the context which in some cases would include, the description of work to be performed with the team, the kind of status the team possesses or even the environment. In actual sense, leadership does not exists in a vacuum but takes account of factors related to the leaders, the team being led and a variety of forces in the environment.Wright asserts that leadership is fundamentally a relationship of influence and the effectiveness of a team leadership best releases talent and potential in people allowing them to lead out of the strengths and competencies they have. In a team, people or members generally work together and normally draws power from the relationship s people have to increase the team’s capacity beyond the collective responsibilities of each members since teams have life, energy and momentum (2005). Among the main aims of an effective leadership is to produce desirable outcomes such as productivity, quality, and satisfaction in the given community service and according to DuBrin effective leadership depends on four attributes including: leader characteristics and traits, leader behaviour and style, team member characteristics and internal and external environment (2009).
Leader Characteristics and Traits: these refer to the inner qualities such as self confidence and the ability to solve problems which, mostly would help the leader function effectively in many varied situationsLeader behaviour and style: these are the manner or activities engaged in by the leader and normally would include his or her characteristic approach which relate to effectiveness. The behaviour and style in the approaches or techniques that a leader adopts to take the team to the place it ought to be and surely knows that it is the best approach and way to maximizing the possibility of achieving success. It has been revealed that a leader that frequently coaches, trains or exercise leadership by encouraging participative leadership would be effective in many circumstances. This is true especially when the team is motivated to take responsibility and to handle the community service as a property and responsibility of each and every team member with no regard for status or major demographic attributes that would paralyze the operations if considered.Thirdly, consideration of team members’ characteristics: This refers to attributes of the team that could bear on how effective the leadership will result. Normally, when the leader exercise responsibility, participative leadership and motivation or training, many of the intelligent and well-motivated team members will help the leader to do an outstanding job in serving together the community (DuBrin, 2009) Internal and external environment: This has influence on effective leadership since a leader in a culturally diverse environment, for instance, will need to have multicultural skills in order to be very effective.
In a community service, leadership and the leader must exercise sensitivity because of the kind of community they are dealing with at a point in time and also bearing in mind that community service is not restricted to one particular community. The team would be moving in support or service to many people and this warrant the diversity of the environment. The leader must then be willing to cope with the diversities in culture, status and mental capacity or resources in terms of ideas and knowledge.Leadership and Personal QualitiesThe qualities of a leader are not always residing in the persons designated as the leader and so the team members must exercise and process most of the qualities. Among the qualities of a leader that is very important to drive a team towards success and goal achievement is credibility. This refers to the capacity for a leader to do an outstanding job due to the fact that they are performers.
This also depends of a number of issues or factors such as trustworthiness, co-orientation, objectiveness and general competence. Whenever a leader gives room for the team to share in the leadership by having them make decisions and also air their views in discussions, the leader’s objective attitude or trait will ensure that issues are decided by discussion and debate and the objectiveness is crucial. This implies that no favouritism is expressed through subjective reasoning or decision making. This automatically give credit to the leader, encourage the team members and challenge the team to contribute and share in the decision making processes in order to share in the victories of the team.Trustworthiness is how consistent and honest members of a team are.
This does not just apply to the members but the team leader most importantly. It is normally regarded as the confidence other people have in a leader’s sincerity and their ability to behave ethically even when faced with pressure or challenging situation (Lumsden, Lumsden & Wiethoff, 2009). A leader is one who will exercise utmost care in the manner thy handle the team as they must bear in mind that they are just as similar to the team as they may not think by being concerned of their welfare, interests, values, needs and objectives. It is very important that leaders share with the team members’ identity. According to Lumsden, Lumsden and Wiethoff, credible communication by the leader must be sensitive since their actions might affect others and should always regard the members higher than the leader (2009). In a team-work, it is very important for the leader to understand how the other team members play their role and using her abilities, facilitate tasks and transactional processes.
In developing strategies, there is the need to define roles which are mostly divided into three:Group-building roles -these focus on the feelings and the harmony. The team member playing this role normally is interested in managing conflict with the team and ensures that everybody is participating and is being heard.Secondly, task roles are concerned with the job or task being done. At this point the leader has to work to ensure that the team makes the best decision and has to insist on making the teams’ discussions organized to ensure that the team is moving forward to the set goals.Thirdly, the concern of individual role is to focus much attention on individual problems or behaviour.
According to Lumsden, Lumsden and Wiethoff, a number of obstacles can be very much present to derail the efforts of the leader. Some team members may just appear to be uninvolved, uncommitted and uncaring. Some will just sit, virtually silent and have nothing to do with guidance or encouraging the development of the team. The leader has to know that whenever a member is excluded, the entire team losses and should not be called a team any more. The loss can be in form of time, information, insight, and analysis (2009).
Many tactics and strategies of effective leadership have been raised and examining a few, this topic would be better understood. Consistent patterns of behaviour are usually the governors of leadership style. According to Kurnik, a leader can exercise certain fundamental tactics or strategies that are used by the leader while leading a team. These strategies are independent of the style of leadership. The found strategies included:Direction: This is a more authoritarian leadership strategy.
When a leader desires that some work is done and operates with a team that has varied behaviours in the members then this strategy is important in order that the team can perform. Giving directions may be very helpful to the team work achieving their goals and hence making the team more productive especially when work has to be done. A leader in this state must show the ability to take control of the team and be responsible for its success. Teams require coordinated, goal-directed effort for effective and efficient performance. This is a very necessary aspect of every leadership strategy, ability to take charge of directing. A lack of common goals and coordination among members can at times lead to a cycle of inefficiency, frustration and lower collective output that can be difficult to reverse.
The leader is then expected to exercise this direction strategy by facilitating productive team performance and clarifying goals, roles and task strategies (Goethals, Sorenson & Burns, 2004). According to Jcr, a good leader must be one capable of giving instruction in a way that ensures that it is heard, understood and heeded. He states that a leader in a team needs to command the team and normally values input from the members. Jcr states that leading the team covers the ability to direct and coordinate the activities of other team members; assess team performance; assign tasks; develop the team skills, knowledge and attitudes (2008).Persuasion: When people are persuaded, the leader is expected to convince and explain to the team why the work or some duty is being performed.
This is a way of making a team believe that whatever task is being requested or being told to do is the right thing. In a team work every member of the team has a right to know what they are doing and normally there is curiosity. Persuasiveness as a strategy works well when the team members are in a similar position or higher than the person leading them. People tend not to respect the positions of certain leading processes. This strategy can be better implemented when making objective decisions during brainstorming sessions and also making choices, letting the team discuss and allowing all to air their views after which the team leader explains to the group why the right thing to be done is what the team leader is choosing for the group in an open minded manner. This allows the team members to reflect on the choices based on the objective discussions the team has had.
Jcr, asserts that effective leadership warrants undertaking effective communications within the team along with the organization and the available resources. Persuasion is a communication strategy that helps to build the team members’ confidence by ensuring that the proposed duties or work are aimed at the success of the team and the continuous improvement and development of the society or community (2008).Negotiation: a leader must be willing to negotiate thus making influence by way of settlement on decisions that are acceptable to the team and the leader. In situations where risks are to be taken, the team leader must ensure that if compromises are to be made then they had better be made.Involvement: A team work must accommodate other people not considering much of their status for the effectiveness of the team’s productivity.
This strategy ensure that a leader makes team aware and involved in what is to be done and makes team adopt the same goals as he has. According to Jones, a very important aspect of team leadership is the willingness of the leader to work with others in alliances and agreements in order to make more significant intervention that either leader or member would possibly be able to make alone. A strategic leader must be willing to subordinate the team’s need for recognition to make progress against a broader agenda in order for the team to improve and grow (2004). Parker states that an effective leader must exercise team playing since the most effective leaders involve team members in the activities that are being done (2008).Indirection: This is a case where the leader has determined the kind of team members he or she is working with and may not be able to exercise effectively the aspect of direction.
The leader is at a state of not being capable of direct influence simply because in teams there could be negative people who accept not directives easily or normally are against suggested ideas. The leader in this case does not ask directly what task to be done but effectively and with a challenging attitude engages in some tasks that will drive people into joining and performing. Normally this strategy is important and every leader should not always try to be very assertive or authoritarian in order that the team can do coordinated work cohesively and in harmony.Repudiation: this strategy must be carefully adopted since the leader disclaims inability to do certain tasks. The aim of it is to allow the team members to respond in cases where they are not able to do a desired task. In a repudiate attitude, the leader may be having knowledge of how certain task can be accomplished but they can deny this ability in order to help the persons who are trying to do the activity or task do that job by having them also acknowledge their inability.
This is a better way of supporting and motivating the team to work and do a better job by having a hands-on experience with the particular team members.In the determined efforts to lead a team work effectively and much more efficiently, there are key behaviours, leadership styles and management approaches that the effective leader must have as characters. Among these are:Strategic leaders are those capable of visioning a range of possibilities and stages ahead of the current tasks. Jones states that Napoleon like a good chess player could envisage several steps ahead and considers various permutations (2004).Secondly, a leader must be pragmatic and with the strategies the leader will need to engage with and succeed in the real tem. The developed strategies must therefore also be based on a realistic appraisal of the environment the team will be operating from and skills or knowledge that the team members possess.
Every leader must be time conscious such that they have the patience to wait until the time is right to make a major intervention and also a boldness to strike decisively when the moment is right. The leader and the team are alert and ready to seize an opportunity as it arises.As indicated above, strategic leadership must entail futurist attitudes. The leader will constantly or normally invest their time in developing the team and their capability for the future works that the team would be assigned as well as managing or coordinating the current duties and responsibilities of the team (Jones, 2004).In as much as the strategies would be defined and used well by the leader and accepted by the team, a number of personal traits are very crucial to project the team to success and progress.
The personal traits can be observable both within and outside their working context. These traits include:Self-confidence- this improves the leader’s performance in a variety of tasks. This type of leader will instill self-confidence in the team members since it refers to the behaviour and interpersonal skill that the leader exhibits in a number of situations. This trait enables the leader to exercise, negotiation strategy well and can enable the keeping of calmness in times of turmoil.Secondly, a humble leader admits that they do not know everything and accepts the training contributed by other team members.
According to Dubrin, humility as a leadership trait is made by the leader putting people or team member in the limelight and not themselves. It implies that the team is accorded much more credibility than the leader and this ensures that the team performs due to the fact that they feel appreciated. Thirdly, trustworthiness gives confidence to have members work well with and in harmony with the leader to accomplish the set tasks. Trust is the expression of confidence in another individual’s intentions and motives and in the sincerity of the team leader (DuBrin, 2009).In conclusion, the effectiveness of the strategies discussed must be coupled with credibility, principles, adaptability, and responsibility.
A leadership assumes the team members ability, right and responsibility to think and make choices. This means mutual respect and influence among the members ensures that the entire team can be transformed in response to the team’s goals and actions. The leader must share the leadership roles and also has to be very principled to be guided by the internal ethical standards and help the team members to use processes and make decisions that are ethically sound. A principled leader avoids manipulating other and discourages team members from taking advantage of others by encouraging a sense of equity and procedural justice.Strategies can be adopted but unless the leader is willing to adapt to the principle set, the team members and also the situations and risks that be in a team work such the community service then success is only said but might not be achieved.
Therefore the leader must listen and use skills for monitoring the team and himself, be accurate, and motivate the team to perform.