Description of Team Leadership and Its Characteristics.

Published: 2023-01-05
Description of Team Leadership and Its Characteristics.
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Environment Security Human Books
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1026 words
9 min read

A team is a group of people, such as employees, who are tasked with working together to attain a common goal. For instance, in a hospital setting, a team can comprise of critical care nurses who are working in a hospital's ICU unit. A team is headed by one individual, such as a supervisor who is in charge of a group of nurses. Such a leader is tasked with ensuring that the team works towards attaining the team's objectives and goals. He or she brings together the team and motivate or inspire them towards attaining this goal. Consequently, he or she is described as a team leader.

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Effective team leadership is manifested through three key indicators, which must be shown by the leader. The first primary attribute of a high level of team leadership is the team leader's capacity to obtain resources essential in supporting the team function for client care. For instance, a good team leader should ensure that his or her team is given the necessary equipment, facilities, and drugs or medicines needed to ensure that high-quality patient care is achieved. Secondly, an efficient team leader is characterized by his or her ability to champion for collaborative practice for patient care. That is, he or she should be capable of bringing together health care professionals from diverse specialties and inspire them towards achieving the same goal of quality patient care. Thirdly, effective team leadership is manifested through a team leader's ability to coordinate health care professionals around issues associated with patients' care (Anonson et al., 2009).

The Hill Model for team leadership has also explained eight other characteristics of this leadership style: principled leadership, external support and recognition, standards of excellence, collaborative climate, unified commitment, competent team members, presence of a results-driven structure, and clear team goals (Tina, 2019). First, principled leadership can be described as a leadership approach characterized by the ability of a leader to articulate their values, make value-based decisions, transparently adhere to values. Secondly, external support and recognition can be described as the team's support from individuals and agencies that are not directly involved in the team's work (Tina, 2019).

Third, team excellence refers to the ability of the team to sustain results over time. Fourth, collaborative climate refers to the ability of team members to work well together. Fifth, unified commitment is team members' willingness to complete their given task to attain team goal (Tina, 2019). Sixth, competent team members refer to members possession of technical competencies. Next, the presence of a results-driven structure refers to how a team is effectively organized to attain its goals. Lastly, clear team goals are goals that are designed in a SMART manner (Tina, 2019).

Challenges Teams May Face When Leading an Organization

There are various challenges that teams can face in their role of leading an organization. One of these challenges is team conflicts (Butterfield, 2016; Cartwright, 2017; Hughes, 2018). Conflicts are common when professionals from diverse specialties are required to work together to achieve a common goal, e.g., improved patient care. Such conflicts should be recognized as possible barriers to interprofessional teamwork (Boissy & Gilligan, 2016). According to Slusser, Garcia, Reed, and McGinnis (2018), interprofessional conflict, linked to threats to professional identity is a major barrier to effective collaboration. When there are conflicts between or among team members, there is a high likelihood that the clients' needs and concerns will not be addressed in an effective as well as a timely manner. Consequently, there is an increased likelihood that the clients will report low levels of satisfaction with health care professionals' services.

The second challenge associated with team leadership is that it is time-consuming to attain effective team function (Bogaert & Clarke, 2018; Singh, 2015; Ward & Hisley, 2015). For instance, it has been reported that it takes much time to convene team meetings as well as to discuss issues related to client situation or care (Michel & Walston, 2018). Because of its demanding nature, some of the health care professionals have suggested that team function should only be utilized where necessary for effective patient care. That is, it a waste of valuable time to convene team meetings to discuss all aspects of patient's care or situation.

Determining Whether Team Leadership is Effective

The effectiveness of team leadership is context-specific. In situations where a patient has a condition or a medical problem that cannot be addressed by one health care professional due to its complexity or challenging nature, team leadership is highly effective. This is because, in such situations, different members of a team bring on board diverse competencies or skills that are required to solve the problem. Consequently, in such cases, team leadership is key in attaining high-quality patient care. However, there are some instances in which team leadership may not be necessary, e.g., when dealing with a non-complicated medical condition. In such a case, team leadership unnecessarily consumes much time.


Anonson, J. M., Ferguson, L., Macdonald, M. B., Murray, B. L., FowlerKerry, S., & Bally, J. M. (2009). The anatomy of interprofessional leadership: An investigation of leadership behaviors in teambased health care. Journal of Leadership Studies, 3(3), 17-25.

Bogaert, P. V., & Clarke, S. (2018). The organizational context of nursing practice: concepts, evidence, and interventions for improvement. New York, NY: Springer.

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Butterfield, J. (2016). Illustrated course guides: teamwork & team building - soft skills for a digital workplace. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Cartwright, R. (2017). Mastering team leadership. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan International Higher Education.

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Michel, J.-P., & Walston, J. D. (2018). Oxford textbook of geriatric medicine. Oxford, OX: Oxford University Press.

Singh, K. (2015). Organizational behavior: text and cases, 3rd edition. Noida, India: Vikas Publishing House.

Slusser, M., Garcia, L. I., Reed, C.-R., & McGinnis, P. Q. (2018). Foundations of interprofessional collaborative practice in health care - e-book. Oxford, OX: Elsevier Health Sciences.

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Ward, S., & Hisley, S. (2015). Maternal-child nursing care optimizing outcomes for mothers, children, & families. Philadelphia, PHL: F.A. Davis.

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