The concept of a team that operates on a purely organic level, unconstrained by defined roles and free from traditional leadership structures, is not a particularly new one. On paper it seems a fantastic idea; a team that is fluid and adaptable to confront and conquer any task or challenge with the independence to respond quickly to potential problems – all without the need for the usual processes needed for decision making. In a perfect environment it’s not beyond the stretch of imagination that a team operating on such principles could go on to achieve success. The difficulties arise when we start to introduce the numerous variables inherent in the work place and especially when dealing with individuals.
A rudderless ship
Without leadership, any team, regardless of individual brilliance, is vulnerable to drifting off course. When there is no one person responsible for the direction and implementation of strategy it becomes incredibly easy for teams to step on the wrong path and become blind to the direction they are taking. From an overall company strategy, it’s also crucial that there is a strong link between company strategy and team direction that can be implemented quickly and precisely. A capable team leader is on hand to ensure the strategy is being communicated clearly and that the team is confident in their understanding of goals.
Of course, a good leader isn’t purely a mouthpiece for company policy and strategy.
You can’t lead by committee
How a leader deals with the variables that affect the productivity and success of a team is where a good leader really shines. The ability to anticipate and respond to the working practices and temperaments of individual team members is the key to maintaining a successful team. Having a leader present to provide motivation, set goals and monitor performance levels ensures that standards are always kept. No amount of memo’s, company policies or reward programmes will ever come close to matching the constant productivity boost that a skilled leader will provide to a team. Equally, left to their own devices, teams that have no defined leadership will inevitably devolve into a chaotic mismatch of visions and quite often try to operate on the median level to appease everyone. When everyone is a leader, no one is.
When leadership is taken away, successes can occur. What’s clear is that consistency is all but impossible. We’ve seen at football clubs that when managers are sacked and teams operate without a manager in the interim period between appointments, the club can have a spell of success – however, any success is always short lived and if the interim period carries on too long, inevitably the team begins to spiral downwards.
The absence of leadership also adversely affects creativity. Without the encouragement and support structure leadership provides, individuals feel less secure to attempt new ideas, this leads to a stagnant workforce unsure of their direction and capabilities.
Leadership & our Events
With some of the above points in mind, we have developed a series of indoor and outdoor events that can help to promote leadership but also encourage teams to work in a more democratic way. Some of these events include Crystal Challenge, Together We Can, F1 Challenge.
To find out more about how our events can help you and your team, please feel free to give us a call on 0800 975 0728.