Leaders lead high-performing teams

How do you lead high-performing teams?

Effective team work can add great value to a school, and the leader’s role is crucial in developing high performing teams that achieve their goals. After all much of the work we do is carried out in teams.

In this section we explore the characteristics of high-performing teams, the stages teams move through in order to perform at a high level and the leadership behaviors that support the growth of high-performing teams.

We have already looked at the importance of developing a collaborative culture (Developing collaboration), the school as a professional learning community (What is a PLC?) and some of the ways in which a leader can develop and grow a PLC (Developing our PLC). When planning professional development on the importance of teams you may wish to refer back to these pages.

Professional inquiry

Our professional inquiry addresses the following issues:

  • What do high-performing teams look like?
  • How do high-performing teams form, grow and mature?
  • What is requited of a team leader?
  • How can different leadership styles be used to increase team effectiveness?

Guiding definitions - Teams

A general definition of 'team' is 'a small group of people (typically fewer than 20 but usually more than 10) with complementary skills committed to a common purpose and a set of specific goals'. (Katzenbach and Smith, The Wisdom of Teams,1994:21)

Teams, it is suggested:

  • have a common purpose
  • share perceptions
  • agree procedures
  • are committed to the team, its members and its goals
  • co-operate with each other
  • resolve disagreements openly (Crawford, Kydd and Riches, Leadership and Teams in Educational Management, 1997:120)
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