Team Leading

The Team Leading profile reports on three groups of factors. First, preferred leadership environment, second, preferred leadership roles, and third, preferred leadership modes.

The first section samples the preferred balance between structure versus chaos, and collaborative versus directive leadership.

The second section weighs the preferred mix of strategic, tactical, situational or functional roles.

The third group compares preference for the leader, planner, organiser and controller modes.

Preference Factors assessed by this Profile are:

Factor Name Description A Low Preference
A High Preference
Rational leaders and followers establish and maintain routines and standard procedures that are suited to prevailing conditions and the team’s end purpose. These people cooperate within the understood and accepted system. They are ready and willing to propose and promote change when conditions alter to another stable state. Uses varying approaches to get results, establishing minimal rules and conditions to provide stability. Suits unstructured situations. Organizes self and others within a system, setting up standards, methods and procedures. Encourages cooperation but enforces understood rules. Prefers order, sense and unity.
Collaborative leaders work willingly with their team and are supportive of team members. They share their thinking, decision making, goal setting, resources and effort. They find interests in common with the team, and that helps them keep the team together, acting in concert. Prefers independence and self-reliance. ‘Goes it alone’ without seeking the understanding and acceptance of others. Considers others’ needs and views, encourages consensus and shared effort. Supports others, accepts help in return. Prefers situations where people are collaborative equals.
Intuitive leaders react to situations as they see them, shifting their ground to gain an advantage and to maintain balance. These leaders vary between guiding those who are willing to be led and applying pressure to those who are not. At times they are concerned for what the group thinks as a whole, but at other times they are more likely to assert their own ideas and methods. Looks for consistency and stability, preferring to know where to take a stand and what is likely to happen. Reacts to conditions as seen, sometimes meeting others halfway on issues, sometimes using pressure to get what is wanted. Enjoys fluid situations, flexibility and uncertainty.
Directive leaders make centralized and unilateral decisions. This suits a command structure organization where directives flow outward and downward to distribute information and tasks, and information and results flow in. It does, however, limit voluntary contributions where these are outside set parameters. A directive leader is out of place in a collaborative organization unless he or she is expected to change the culture. Lets others go their own way, setting their own direction and pace, and choosing their own methods. Prefers situations where authority is not overused. Keeps firm control over situations and people, deciding what must be done and directing others’ efforts. Overcomes resistance and enforces rules. Comfortable in situations requiring exercise of authority.
Strategy focused leaders are concerned with positioning the organization and team to achieve defined objectives and to take advantage of appropriate opportunities. They seek to ensure that current conditions and activities enable the team to move forward with minimal risk from one secure place to another. They focus on critical issues and events that deliver key results. Less concerned with strategic issues and their consequences than with other aspects of a leader’s role. Seeks best positioning, comparing the given and preferred environments, and looking for location, reach and status. Focuses on issues that bring strategic benefits, integrates everything into one effort.
Tactics oriented leaders influence the course of events by defining specific objectives and by taking deliberate action to achieve those objectives. They make use of tactics that will turn things in their favor or against their opponents and competitors, and boost the power of their team. They gather and use intelligence, and make the most of existing conditions. Less concerned with tactical issues and their consequences than with other aspects of a leader’s role. Seeks to influence events by focusing on a purpose, the tactics to use, and the way the action will develop. Gathers and uses intelligence to gain the best effect.
Situationalist leaders are quick to grasp the meaning of issues and events. They weigh up alternatives and decide how to deal with the situation. Depending on whether the situation presents as a threat or an opportunity, they try for the greatest gain or the least loss. Their overall aim is to master the situation. In unfamiliar conditions or with unexpected developments, can be put off balance and lose opportunities. Adapts to issues as they emerge, responding to each situation by making the most of available choices. Exploits conditions for the greatest gain or to minimize loss.
Functionary leaders apply specialized knowledge, skills and experience in their area of expertise. They may perform tasks themselves or lead others who have skills in the same area. They avoid known risks and the likelihood of loss by following established procedures and routines. They add value by producing tangible results. Less concerned with functional issues and their detail than with other aspects of a leader’s role. Gets things done through skills, attitudes, knowledge and experience relevant to the specialty. Contributes by adding value or reducing loss, balances risk to avoid reversals.
The Leader assesses three specific process-oriented behaviors: negotiating and enforcing performance contracts, getting others to take action, and modeling effective behaviors. Leaders reach agreement about what will or won’t be done and the benefits that will result. They attract others to the task, cause them to take the necessary action then give appropriate recognition. In the process, leaders show team members how to be effective, by their own example and by guiding and coaching each team member. Arrangements with others are likely to be more loose than firm, may be unenforced. That limits effort and effectiveness as a leader. Makes interpersonal contracts with others and causes them to take the necessary action. Portrays effective behaviors, guides others to develop theirs.
The Planner assesses three specific process-oriented behaviors: estimating what can be done, determining what shall be done, and preparing for its accomplishment. Planners examine past performance and prevailing conditions to define future prospects, then establish alternative objectives and courses of action. From this they determine which goals and courses of action to follow. Preparation takes them through the ‘how to’ process, where resources are organized and committed to specific ends. Planning is a continuous process that goes from general strategies to specific, detailed actions. Works things out on the way, without clear estimates of needs or commitment to a specific course of action. Estimates prospects, determines objectives and the best course of action for self and others. Identifies steps to take, prepares the means of gaining the desired results.
The Organiser assesses three specific process-oriented behaviors: marshaling resources, allocating resources to tasks, and enabling people and resources to function together effectively and efficiently. Organizers locate needed resources and secure their supply. They schedule them to tasks by quantity and time, as required by the plan. They delegate authority and responsibility to enable others to use allocated resources and give their support to ensure everything works as intended. Allows resource usage to happen as it will, without organizing it, allowing potentially erratic supply, wasted time, effort and materials. Finds resources, secures supply, brings them together for allocation. Structures and assigns usage, provides resources when and where needed. Ensures others have appropriate access.
The Controller assesses three specific process-oriented behaviors: establishing performance standards, contracts, guidelines and routines; assessing and comparing progress; and adjusting standards, guidelines and routines to keep the action on track for given objectives. Controllers seek consistency in input, process and output, as compared with preset standards. They expect others to follow guidelines and procedures. They check activities and progress against what was intended and measure ongoing results. They reconcile any differences between planned and actual results, without detracting from the objective. Exercises a low level of control. Events and activities may get out of hand and become difficult to stabilize. Sets standards for consistency of operation and output, monitors progress, measures results, compares outcomes with aims. Corrects processes, stabilizes activities.

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