Leadership Skills: Team Empowerment

Develop Effective Process 

Relationship BECOMES Process.

Process CREATES Trust.

Trust FORMS Community.

Community BUILDS Relationships.


The Transformational Leader works with people. Working with people means establishing systems that people can understand and follow. The sequence above is true about teams. You recruit persons for your team because you know and trust them. However, factors in a personal relationship do not necessarily transfer to a good team relationship. You tend to overlook the faults and inconsistencies of friends. In a team, that is not always possible. Each team member must depend on other members to perform effectively. If the leader overlooks the faults of a friend, then the relationship with other team members is damaged.

Therefore, you recruit a person because of a relationship, but process replaces that relationship and creates trust, community, and a different relationship for the team members as a whole.

Transformational Leaders understand change. Change is necessary for transformation. The leader, however, must be willing to change first before expecting others to be willing to change. The transformation begins with the leader–and then moves to the team.

In order to be creative, there must be a foundation of planning, structure, and commitment to excellence. It is possible to be creative and work in a structure. Computer programmers and musicians must be creative, and have to work within an unforgiving structure. Leaders can be more creative when a structure is in place, thus giving the team the freedom to focus on being creative, and not on structure.

Look at your skill set first–then help others do the same. They will respect your discipline and preparation. Do not, however, prepare all the content, if you expect team participation. Plan what results you desire, then let the team build the journey together, and then they will also own it. As each person learns to trust the process, the team will mature and the new community will be created.

The Transformational Leader must give attention to the details of leadership and group dynamics to keep the process moving. If the leader wants to be involved in all the tasks, then there is no need for a team. Delegate and follow up as the leader.

* Excerpt from Building High Performance Teams: Systems and Structures for Leading Teams and Empowering Transformation by Hugh Ballou


Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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Hugh Ballou (Author)