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  • Subject Name : Leadership

Effective Virtual Team Leadership in Building Successful Organisations

To make a successful team, a number of basic characteristics have to come together within the team. Team members have to essentially keep individual actions in consonance with the group targets and the role of each member should contribute to the collective success of the team. Ill-coordinated efforts between team members may cause the team to fail as a whole. (Van Knippenberg, 2017) A leader gives a direction to the whole team and makes sure that all the members function in a way that no friction is caused among team members. A leader has influence on a majority of items that ultimately effect team performance, such as- cognitive development of members and of the team as a whole, motivational development, co-ordination among members, working environment, organisational skills and team characteristics. A team leader can either make a good team or break it.

There are crucial qualities that must be possessed by a team leader to steer the team towards success are (Maduka, Edwards, Greenwood, Osborne & Babatunde, 2018):

  • Team leaders always have a vision about different tasks and prefer to execute the same in a manner that gives similar results. To take on the performance of the whole task and dis it out would be next to impossible, thus, team leaders essentially have to identify the strong working points of each team member so that the responsibilities that are assigned are delivered in time and completed in the best manner possible.
  • Team Leaders have to have excellent communication skills. Due to the present pandemic crisis, team leaders have to communicate through media like telephone. Mails and through video calls. A team leader who cannot put across his/her vision through any media of communication will be not be considered as an all-rounder team leader as the team members would not be able to grasp ideas put across via calls and mails. An open channel of communication from both ends shall ensure the delivery of good work.
  • The appearance of a team lead always has to be calm and confident. The team members feel secure around a leader who shows that everything is under control. At the same time, the team leaders have to be approachable by the members. This attribute is essential in times of crisis, if the team leader shows despair, then the whole team loses hope. (Burke, Shuffler & Wiese, 2018)

Even after having all these qualities in an individual, they often fail as the team leader. Some of the practical issues that are faced- the team leaders are often chosen from among the team members. This creates a sense of resentment among the other members and they refuse to acknowledge the orders and suggestions of the team lead. This in turn results in declining performance of the team. On the other hand, since the leader was a part of the team earlier, he tends to have the knowledge about the specific areas of specialization of each team member which helps him to assign the work.

Given an opportunity, the author believes that people learn more through experience than through theoretical books. Thus, an open atmosphere shall be created and each member can share their experience with other members. (Koeslag-Kreunen, Van den Bossche, Hoven, Van der Klink, & Gijselaers, 2018) This will create an atmosphere of openness and members shall be comfortable around each other to share issues and help in times of need. This is the highest form of co-operation that may be achieved within a team.

Reference for Team Leadership

Koeslag-Kreunen, M., Van den Bossche, P., Hoven, M., Van der Klink, M., & Gijselaers, W. (2018). When leadership powers team learning: a meta-analysis. Small group research49(4), 475-513.

Maduka, N. S., Edwards, H., Greenwood, D., Osborne, A., & Babatunde, S. O. (2018). Analysis of competencies for effective virtual team leadership in building successful organisations. Benchmarking: An International Journal.

Van Knippenberg, D. (2017). Team leadership. The Wiley‐Blackwell handbook of the psychology of team working and collaborative processes, 345-368.

Burke, C. S., Shuffler, M. L., & Wiese, C. W. (2018). Examining the behavioral and structural characteristics of team leadership in extreme environments. Journal of Organizational Behavior39(6), 716-730.

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