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7 Qualities of Great Team Leaders

No company will thrive if the team members that make up the workforce do not work together.

Teamwork is at the heart of great success. And successful teams have great team leaders that act as a cohesive force driving every team member towards a shared goal.

A great team leader has a variety of characteristics and skillsets they often rely on either consciously or otherwise to inspire and lead their team.

Here are seven qualities of an effective team leader that inspires trust and respect in team members which ultimately leads to improved productivity.

Effective communicator

A great team leader is a master communicator. They communicate expectations in a clear, open and honest manner.

Not only are they able to communicate ideas clearly. An effective leader also has the ability to listen to inputs from others.

Good communication is fundamental to team unity, motivation, and mission. Poor communication can ruin a team’s ability to focus and support the mission of the brand and has a direct impact on productivity.

A good leader will know how to communicate mission goals, affirm team success and move at the pace and ability of a team member to ensure a positive outcome.

Exceptional organizational skills

A great team leader is organised. A skill they rely on to plan, set objectives and strategize while also efficiently juggling their workload.

Organised team leaders create guidelines that allow team members to perform at their best. They put systems in place to maintain order within their team; ensure every team member understands what is expected of them at every given time; plus drives them towards achieving company goals.

Personal organisation skills as important as team organisational skills. If a team leader cannot manage his own schedules, routines, workload, and responsibilities, he or she is unlikely to excel in leading others to organise themselves.

Identifying these skills means observing:

  • Ability to maintain a schedule
  • Ability to prioritise tasks
  • Ability to follow through to completion
  • Ability to manage obstacles and remain focused on end goals

Has strong project management skills

Leading from the point above, an effective team leader understands and uses project management best practices to manage, guide, and ensure assigned work is completed on time and within budget.

A great team leader also is willing to undergo or recommend team members for project management training in order to brush up or acquire new cutting-edge skills in project management.

Part and parcel of good organisational skills are good project management skills. These include:

  • Monitoring the workload of the individuals within a team
  • Monitoring and assessing team progress
  • Managing or at least monitoring budgets
  • Ability to adapt with flexibility to the limitations of the team

Project management has become an increasingly viable career path for people with these skill sets. Opportunities range from manufacturing to digital marketing and company start-ups.

Leaders with a high level of competency are able to call upon, not only their own creative resources but the creative resources both internal and external to those they lead.

Adept at delegating tasks

An effective team leader understands the role delegation plays in building team confidence. They are aware also, that they do not have to do everything by themselves.

By delegating tasks to competent team members, a great team leader builds up their team, provides them with opportunities to learn new skills; while at the same time freeing themselves to focus on other important tasks.

The overall impact is that team members learn new skills, are exposed to new experiences, morale is high in the workplace, productivity skyrockets while the team leader gets more done.


A great team leader is skilled and knowledgeable in their core areas of competencies. A leader who knows their stuff inspires respect and confidence in their team members.

Their competence includes the ability to negotiate effectively either with top management for better conditions for their team or within the team to resolve conflicts.

Another characteristic of an effective leader is that they are always on the lookout for new opportunities to learn, to improve on their competencies, and to grow.

Fair and unbiased

A great team leader is fair and unbiased when dealing with team members. Nothing destroys a team spirit more than when a leader treats a team member unfairly or is perceived to favour a particular member above others.

An effective leader is consistent in how they treat team members both in terms of rewards and recognition; as well as when disciplinary actions are required.

Impartiality is critical to maintaining group cohesion and also ensures that team goals and business objectives are not sidelined by inter-personal obstacles.

Leads from the front

It is not just enough for a leader to sit back at their desk and bark out orders. Today, team members, expect their leaders to lead from the front. To be in the field with them.

The thinking is, how can a leader who has never been out in the field; know what is required to lead effectively?

Leading from the front allows the leader to have first-hand experience, become more empathic, and understand what needs to change to make life easier for their team members.

Finally, because the team leader is also in the fields, they develop a strong bond – the sort only possible as a result of shared experiences – with their team members.

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