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High-Performance Teams

Updated: Aug 28, 2020

Transformational leadership approaches best supports high functioning, interdependent team behavior. Politis (2002) states that transformational leaders “seek to raise the consciousness of followers, by appealing to higher ideas and moral values, such as liberty, justice, peace, and humanitarianism”. This is accomplished because the transformational leader is charismatic, provides individual consideration to each team member, and promotes intellectual stimulation, along with critical and innovative thinking, among team members (Politis, 2002).  

           Pryor (2009) proposes that in order to support high performing, self- managing teams, leaders must do the following:

  • Choose the right members. Kotter (2002) states that team members should be knowledgeable about the task, credible and committed employees, and posses a reasonable amount of managerial and leadership skills. These members should also possess complementary skills and strengths.

  • Facilitate the solidification of the team. The transformational leader should provide opportunities for team building and professional development activities. The leader should also discuss team dynamics and functioning, the stages of team development, and common dysfunctions of teams.

  • Help team members to internalize the organizational vision and mission.

  • Explain how the greater organizational vision relates to the task at hand.

  • Provide measurable goals and objectives, which are aligned with the greater organizational goals and objectives.

  • Explain to team members how their performance will be evaluated.

  • Foster a climate of meaningful communication and integrity.

  • Successfully manage conflict amongst team members.

By following the steps laid out by Pryor (2009), the transformational leader can successfully support high performing, self- managing teams.

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Kotter, J. (2002). The Heart of Change. Harvard Business School Pulishing, Boston, MA

Politis, J. (2002). Transformational and transactional leadership enabling (disabling) knowledge acquisition of self- managed teams: The consequences for performance. Leadership and Organizational Development Journal (23)3/4, 186-197

Pryor, M. et al (2009). Teaming as a strategic and tactical tool: An analysis with recommendations. International Journal of Management (26)2, 320-333

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