Transformational Leadership

My View – Leading by Team Management Approach

Herry Hendarto PMP asked:

My View

Leading by Team Management Approach

As I am writing a course module on project management leadership for the project management online courses recently, I retrieved one of the viewgraphs I used to present in a seminar back in 2003 and as I read along I found how these points are still relevant to leaders who wish to lead by Team Management Approach and hence this article.

The viewgraph reads as follow:

Team Management

ï‚© Lead with Confidence and Trust

ï‚© One Body One Big Family

ï‚© Clear Role / Authority / Responsibility

 Understanding Work Flow & Work Processes – Enhance Communication

ï‚© Open to Suggestion & Accept Difference in Opinion

ï‚© You Are Successful Until Your Team Is

I found above useful as a “Leadership Health Check” to see if we have led our team or if an organization or a project management organization has accommodated Team Management Approach in a company, an organization, and or in a project.

1. Lead with Confidence and Trust. If it is about leading a large project, a large organization, or a company, I would generally say you have to lead with confidence and trust and this is not an option.

First of all it is highly unlikely you will be doing each and everything all by yourself; it does not matter how smart, efficient, effective, knowledgeable, and capable you are. Second of all doing it alone or one man show would mean handling project initiating, planning, implementation, monitoring, and close-out alone having no check and balance in place.

2. If you truly believe in developing a team and lead with confidence and trust, you will need to run the team the way it is as to run one body in one big happy family. How can you possibly do it differently as a team without taking the model of one body in one big happy family?

Only a family knows its members best, each individual strengths and weaknesses, and so has confidence and trust to other members of the family; if one member of the family hurts, other members feel the pinch just as much; and when there is a problem with one member, the whole family members will delve in to see how they can chip in, help, and contribute as a team.

3. In a big happy family all members have their respective roles, authority, and responsibility where each member will have to understand their role well, assume assigned role and responsibility, be realistic about it, and of course be accountable to his/her result and achievement. In a family you will have parental role from a father, a mother, and from each child’s role and responsibility until such time the child is capable of leading a new family life and assume the role, authority, and responsibility, and be accountable as a new parent.

4. It takes time to form a functional family and to know each role, authority, and responsibility intimately. It also takes time to know and understand each other and each other roles intimately in a family. Like in a family, the exact same principle will also apply in the team management approach. Over time we learn to know how something in the family gets done by each member, be it in the roles as a father, a mother, and as children or as students. This is like the work procedures and work processes in an organization.

In a company, an organization, and or a project, we have the advantage of an established work procedure and work processes that we do not have in a normal family to assist in accelerating the teambuilding process. Even with this advantage not all tiers in an organization take the time to learn, understand, and appreciate well other members’ roles and responsibilities which makes teambuilding a must especially with organizational dynamics and its constant member turnover.

If we can start the team management approach by having each member to understand and appreciate other team member’s role and responsibility, it would be so much faster to mould a solid team. To enhance this solid and unbreakable team, each member must undertake to communicate and communicate well to other members. Realistically speaking though, we often encounter communication problems and communication breakdowns in a family. Do not let communication breakdowns split the team you have spent so much effort to build in your organization.

5. A real family should be open to suggestions and accept differences in opinions. Let us now understand one vital fact: that all people are created equal but unique. No one of us is created exactly the same. Unless we can accept this fact as the very basis in building up a team in an organization the team will likely be flawed. Keep in mind though that being open to suggestion and accepting difference in opinion does not automatically mean one has to accept those suggestions and opinions.

A good functional family can also be likened to a ship which has to have a captain who assumes responsibility of the ship, or like a father in the family, who ensures the family safety and well being, and who undertakes to provide leadership, guidance, and direction, and to deliver the common objectives of the family. So this role comes with authority which naturally gains family respect and create an obligation for the family members to follow and obey.

On the same token a project will require a project manager and an organization will require an executive officer just like a ship captain who assumes responsibility and provides guidance and direction for the team to move and charge ahead.

6. When I say above that I do not see any other way to work as a team other than as one body in one big family, it is generally true to also say and accept the fact that not a single soul can claim himself or herself to be smarter, better, and more knowledgeable than a group of professionals working together within a team to execute and deliver a project. This goes a long way to prove that you are not successful until your team is.

For your project to be a success, be a team, work as a team, do your part in the team and contribute to the team.

Article by Herry Hendarto PMP,


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