One of the reasons that teamwork is such a popular topic is because it is a crucial element of success. Another is that, while the issues stay the same (in many ways) the best practices and guiding principles are still under debate. Two topics that are personally important to me and are elements of teamwork that I feel I possess an advanced understanding on are the roles of leaders in high-performance teams and organizing a team for success. In my working life, I have learned that being able to lead a strong and well-built team is one of the most crucial determinants of organizational success.
Leadership is a commonly studied element of organizational best practices. Every organization has leaders, but what do leaders actually do that actually achieves successful results and outcomes? Can the results be replicated, or is charisma and various other tools of power and success really just a matter of luck? In textbooks and in studies, successful leadership is often depicted as a challenge or as a toolbox of skills to be mastered, based on various theoretical guiding principles.
[...] I was in charge of implementing their work duties and also educating them on their tasks and projects and evaluating their work performance. As a leader, I tried to do more than just answer questions or provide task- and skill-oriented support. Because of where these workers were coming from in life, I also tried to guide them in ways that transcended managing tasks. It is one of the reasons that I have learned that a powerful tool for guiding any kind of team, high-performance or not, is to understand that leadership is distinct from management. [...]
[...] Leading the maintenance crew and giving out work projects, educating in the construction of work such as constructing buildings, masonry and operating heavy equipment, I developed a belief that a team needs to buy in to what is being done on their own terms. Psychology, charisma and talent for bringing the best out of people and empowering them are the best ways to lead, instead of manage—but I also discovered that a team needed to do the work for reasons beyond a boss saying they had to. [...]
[...] (2002) "Managing the Diversity Revolution: Best Practices for 21st Century Business." Civil Rights Journal 46-60. Blackwell, C. W., Gibson, J. W., & Hannon, J. C. (1998) "Charismatic Leadership: The Hidden Controversy." Journal of Leadership Studies 25. Cushner K., McClelland A., & Safford P (1996) .Human diversity in education. An integrative approach . New York: McGraw-Hill Ely, R. J., and Thomas, D. A. (2001). "Cultural diversity at work: The effects [...]
[...] that came from the country's rise as the leading industrial and corporate superpower. As Aranson (2002) explained: In 1900, fully 87 percent of people living in the United States were white; most of those who weren't white were African Americans living in the Deep South . Today, however, less than 75 percent of Americans are non-Hispanic whites. There are just as many Hispanics as blacks, and growing populations of Asian and Middle Eastern Americans. No nation in history has experienced such a swift--indeed, such a revolutionary--change in its demographic composition. [...]
[...] "The board had ample knowledge of the dangerous waters in which Enron was swimming and it didn't do anything about said Carl Levin, a Democratic senator from Michigan, during the Congressional investigations that looked into the ugly collapse of Enron (Johnson 2002, p. A23). Enron's leadership was of such poor quality that it is easy to pick on—but it is not enough to say that the leaders were greedy and liars or that they modeled their behavior so thoroughly and completely that a corporate culture emerged that allowed these particular offense to occur. [...]
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