Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Team Leadership: Organizing and Setting Direction

1. Overview

  • The team leaders should complete various activities to help the team get and stay organized
  • The team leader sets the direction for the team by ensuring that the vision and goals are shared by team members
  • The team leader encourages team cohesiveness by focusing on various team building tools and activities
  • The team leader support team in completing tasks by focusing on strategies and action plans to meet specific objectives
  • The team leader should take specific steps to keep the team focused on the task
  • The team leader should provide support to the team by making logistical arrangements
  • The team leader ensures that everyone is up-to-date about the teams issues and accomplishments

2. Get Organized By. . .

  • Defining the team goal(s) as specifically as possible
    • Make sure that everyone understands what needs to be done
  • Listing tasks and sub-tasks to be completed
    • Break tasks into sub-components and include process tasks (i.e., ways of getting things done)
  • Assigning responsibility for all tasks
    • Assign tasks to every team member and ensure that they are satisfied with the assignment
  • Developing and posting the timeline and checklist for task completion
    • Build cushion into deadlines , make sure the entire team understands them, make final versions available to all team members, and track them in meetings
  • Setting up a central repository for electronic files
    • Make use of technology to create a common area the entire team can access; keep backup copies  
  • Sending meeting notes and maintaining a communications archive
    • Ensure that all team members have the same understanding of what took place in the meeting; store information in case questions arise later
  • Sending reminders of deadlines and informing about completed tasks
    • Send reminders and encourage team members to keep each others informed

3. Set Direction By. . .

  • Creating a shared vision
    • What do we want the team experience to be?
    • What are we trying to accomplish?
  • Identifying shared values
    • What do we consider important?
    • What drives us?
    • How do we go about accomplishing our work?
  • Setting clear goals
    • What do we want to accomplish?
    • How will we measure attainment?
    • How will we ensure goals are achievable?
    • In what timeframe will be accomplish the goal?

4. Ensure Cohesiveness By. . .

  • Emphasizing common interests and values
    • Underscore mutual interests/shared objectives and explain why cooperation is necessary to attaining them
  • Using ceremonies and rituals
    • Use initiation rituals for entering members; “retirement” rituals for departing members; and ceremonies to celebrate special achievements
  • Using symbols to develop identification with the team
    • Use team name, slogan, or other identifiers to create team identity
  • Encouraging and facilitating social interaction
    • Hold periodic activities to facilitate social interaction
  • Sharing team activities and achievements
    • Keep members informed about plans, activities, and achievements
    • Explain how their work contributes to overall success of the mission
  • Conducting process analysis sessions
    • Have frank discussions about interpersonal relationships and group processes
  • Increasing incentives for mutual cooperation
    • Use spontaneous/informal rewards to emphasize the importance of service to the team

5. Get Things Done By. . .

  • Specifying objectives
    • Which components of the goal will we focus on?
    • How will we measure them?
  • Agreeing upon benchmarks/milestones
    • What performance targets will we set?
  • Uncovering issues
    • What are the barriers that interfere with the accomplishment of our goals?
  • Developing alternatives
    • What can we do to resolve the issues?
    • What else can we do? 
  • Selecting strategies or action steps
    • What will we do about it?

6. Focus The Team On The Task By. . .

  • Brief the team on information and tools necessary to complete the task
  • Determine task assignments
  • Serve as the meeting chair
  • Initiate parallel sub-teams to resolve issues/perform tasks
  • Ensure satisfactory preparation of deliverables
  • Keep the team on track
  • Notice and deal with process issues

7. Coordinate Team Logistics By. . .

  • Establishing meeting time, place, and agendas
  • Obtaining necessary resources to support team requirements
  • Coordinating reviews, presentation, and release of the final output
  • Coordinating external meetings (if appropriate)

8. Communicate Team Information By. . .

  • Providing regular status reports of team activities related to the plan and schedule
  • Keeping everyone informed about task, accomplishments, issues, and status
  • Escalating issues which cannot be resolved by the team

9. Additional Reading

The Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library
Questions? Ask us.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

The George Washington University