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How Can You Be an Effective Team Leader?

Bob Pozen, Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management

Have trouble viewing this video? Read the transcript.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:
  • Identity six behaviors that can make leaders more effective.
  • Demonstrate how to collaboratively set goals and metrics with a team.
  • Explain the value of setting up regular communication with a team during the lifespan of a project.
  • Discuss how a leader can turn unintentional errors into positive changes.
  • Explain why it is important to celebrate a team’s success.

Description: Good employees often get promoted into management roles. But do they have the skills and knowledge they need to effectively lead a team? 
 
Unfortunately, the answer, often, is no. Whether you manage a small team or are just getting started as the leader of a new project, it’s natural to feel uncomfortable and uncertain about how to take charge. In this IHI Open School short, Bob Pozen, a senior lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and author of Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours, shares six behaviors that can help you become a more effective leader — including tips on using metrics, mid-flight reviews, and mistakes.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Which of the six behaviors described in the video do you think is most difficult for a leader to learn? Why did you choose that one?
  2. Do you think leaders and team members who collaborate on goals and metrics are more likely to succeed on projects? Why or why not?
  3. Bob Pozen states that “an effective leader must maintain a delicate balance between monitoring and micromanaging.” Do you agree with this? How can mid-flight reviews help with this balance?
  4. How do you know when a mistake is a “good faith mistake”?
  5. According to Bob Pozen, “Most leaders will tell you that they are always giving praise to their team, but few teams feel that they are getting too much praise.” Have you ever worked with a leader that gave you enough praise?
  6. Talk about an experience (positive or negative) you’ve had as a team leader. What would you do differently if you were leading that team today?
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