Leadership and Team Skills: Are they separate things?
In the world of corporate training and motivational courses, leadership and team skills are often treated like separate things. After all, they seemingly involve different groups of people, in different places on your hierarchical ladder. However, I’d like to share a story with you about an elderly couple I know. Hopefully it will help you to understand the real relationship between what leaders and team members bring to a task and the link between leadership and team skills.
Leadership and team skills are co-dependant
When Richard and Anne met, they fell deeply in love. Richard was the athletic type, while Anne could’ve been a MENSA member if she’d ever felt the need to try. They’re a fantastic couple, committed and caring, and have grown old together fairly gracefully.
But with age comes change. Richard and Anne understand that better than most. Arthritis has taken much of Richard’s manual capability – I saw him try to make a cup of a tea some years ago, using an old-fashioned kettle that you put on the hob. Safe to say that it was dangerous, and I stepped in to help. Meanwhile Anne finds herself forgetful – physically in great health, but with a memory that seems to lose information at will. I asked Richard how they coped.
He told me that Anne makes him a cup of tea. He reminds her to turn the gas off when she’s finished.
I thought it was a beautiful sentiment, and it’s something that’s stuck with me because it really does sum up the relationship between the skills of a leader and the skills of a team. The team members rely on strong leadership to define a direction and keep things organised, while a leader depends on the skills that his or her team members bring to the task. This is what leadership and team skills is all about.
Leadership and team skills combine for productivity
Although training consultancies would have you believe that you can train your leaders and your other team members separately, the reality is that a leader is just another member of the team. While they may have their own unique skills that need bespoke support and training, leaders and their teams should come together regularly for training that helps them to communicate and work as a cohesive whole.
Richard and Anne continue to combine their strengths every single day. Leadership and team skills should always follow their example. You can hear me talking more about my views on Leadership on our Youtube channel