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Man by nature is a member of one group or the other. The group can be a family, club, society, school, college…….The instinct to move around in groups is there in animals also. Elephants, lions, leopards, sheep – all in general move around in groups.
A leader as the word stands is someone who leads others. He should have a vision, commitment and drive to achieve the goal of the group. In other words, team leadership is the management of a group of people to achieve the desired result. The leader must motivate and inspire confidence in the members of the group.
The leader must be flexible, adaptable and should be capable to face all types of situations including setbacks, challenges and failures in a calm and cool manner. He must be able to extract work from each member of the group after assigning a particular task according to the individual’s capacity as it may differ from person to person.
Group Leadership for Project Management
A project in general is a particular task. It can be construction of a building, development of software or managing a social event. At the initial phase itself, the purpose of the project, its goal, tasks ahead, resources available, budget, members of the group and time to complete the task should be clearly identified and a plan of action chalked out.
Characteristics of a Group Leader
Some are born leaders; others are groomed as leaders. The leadership qualities can be developed and improved through proper training and practice. The important qualities of a leader are:
Effective communication: The leader should have the capacity to communicate effectively to other team members. The skill should be both in speaking and writing modes.
Motivation: The leader should be able to inculcate a sense of motivation in the members. Only then can the full capacity of each member of the group be extracted. To create personal rapport, he should address each member by their names.
Proper Planning: At the start of the work, a detailed study should be undertaken to assess the various implications and systematic planning should be done. For this, a suitable software can be used and assistance of experts in different domains sought.
Energetic: The leader must be energetic and physically and mentally fit for the task. His energy level should always be high.
Experience and Knowledge: The leader should have theoretical knowledge in the particular field/domain and also enough practical experience.
Self Confidence: This is a very important characteristic of a good leader. Only a confident leader will be able to generate confidence in others. For completing a task successfully, each member of the group should work confidently.
Assertive: The leader should assert himself and give necessary instructions to his team members.
Domination: This is another face of assertiveness.
Honesty: The old proverb ‘Honesty is the best policy’ is perfectly apt in this case also. There is no need to overemphasize the importance of honesty for a leader.
Charismatic: This is the ability to influence the thinking and attitude of others.
Integrity: Should be beyond doubt.
While the team leader should have the capabilities to lead the other members of the team, the individual members should have an environment suitable to work efficiently and effectively. They are:
- Safe environment to work
- Respect each member of the group
- Resolve conflicts amicably
- Regular meetings to solve problems and to monitor progress
- Analyze failures if and when occurs
- Celebrate success
- Get feedback from members
- Analyze the feedback and then take corrective steps
A leader should have a vision. He should lead the group with single-minded determination and take necessary steps to achieve the vision. For this he should possess group leadership skills.
1. Construction Engineering and Management, S Seetharaman, Umesh Publications, New Delhi, 2003
Image – lumaxart via Wikimedia Commons