Essay Sample on Improving Leadership in Teams

Published: 2022-11-11
Essay Sample on Improving Leadership in Teams
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Leadership development Leadership style
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1606 words
14 min read

Leadership style plays a vital role in the success of a project or team. Notably, a leader can influence his or her team members positively or negatively, which has a direct impact on their effectiveness. Typically, many temporary organizations are heterogeneous in such a way that it creates challenges for a leader while managing the team towards a common objective (Tyssen, Wald, & Spieth, 2013). Notably, lack of inclusion and dysfunctional communication channels are the leading causes of demotivation and loss of interest among team members. Since disengagement and dysfunctional leadership styles demotivate faculty members, a leader can exercise distributed and transformational leadership approaches to enhance the effectiveness of their teams.

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Brief Summary of the Situation

AB University faces cases of employee demotivation and loss of interest, which has resulted in increasing job turnovers. The employees are part-timers and work virtually. On the other hand, some of them do not attend meetings, while those who show up are disengaged and do not contribute towards the main agenda. Therefore, the current trend puts the university's faculties' goals and objectives in jeopardy.

The Causes of Workers' Demotivation and Disengagement in a Team

According to Chen, Sharma, Edinger, Shapiro, & Farh (2011), poor communication channels are the primary cause of employee disengagement. In this case, members lack a proper channel to communicate with their leaders concerning vital issues affecting them. As a result, they become disengaged from their groups. Moreover, if leaders lack adequate communication skills to enable them to communicate effectively with other people conflicts emerge.

Additionally, the lack of established communication policies may cause members to skip faculty meetings or fail to contribute during the sessions. Communication policies are ideal for the reduction of confusion and miscommunication within a team. For instance, a group that does not define how its members access vital information concerning underlying projects, date meetings, and how to resolve internal conflicts is bound to fail. According to Yang, Huang, & Wu, (2001), individuals may fail to attend essential meetings since they are unaware of the arrangements. Moreover, a department may fail to update its members on the progress of various projects alienating individuals from the set objectives. Many organizations lack established methods such as mail notification and memos, which are superlative in issuing scheduled project updates.

Secondly, poor leadership methods affect a team negatively. For instance, a leader may be reluctant to accept ideas or suggestions from other members. Therefore, they feel sidelined or not valued, which leads to disengagement (Chen et al., 2011). In the twenty-first century, individuals choose to quit their jobs due to poor leadership despite being satisfied with their work. People are motivated when working in an environment where their views and opinions are appreciated. Notably, most faculty heads lack to recognize their members' contributions, which demotivates them. Demotivated workers will regularly miss critical conferences, perform poorly, quit, or show signs of no interest. As a result, the productivity of a temporal organization reduces increasing the chances of departmental failure.

On the other hand, autocratic leadership within a department is the lead cause of disengagement and high job turnovers (Harris, 2004). In this case, a leader does not consult other department members on any proposed changes or decisions. He or she imposes directives and policies on his or her subordinates and expects them to follow without raising any questions. Although an authoritative leadership approach is functional in high-value projects, research has proven it the primary cause of low productivity and demotivation in an organization (Harris, 2004). In the case of AB University, its leadership structure may have influenced the disinterested members negatively. For instance, the implementation of new policies without their knowledge or contribution may have resulted in most of them leaving the university.

Thirdly, disconnection from coworkers caused by ineffective leadership that does not emphasize on social connections adversely affects employee engagement (Chen et al., 2011). Interpersonal relationships among employees play a vital role in the creation of an excellent working atmosphere. In the case of AB University, most employees are part-timers, while others work online; therefore, they do not interact with each other regularly. As a result, they lack a social connection that is necessary for facilitating a successful meeting. For instance, they may be disengaged at the quarterly meetings since they do not know each other and are afraid to express themselves. Notably, most millennials adore social relationships and are motivated while working in an environment where they perceive each other as friends instead of strangers.

Fourthly, lack of clear vision within a department causes members' disengagement. Notably, it is essential for individuals to understand the central vision and mission of their faculties to realize short term wins. Institutions that lack a unified and communicated vision are not able to manage their employees or increase their productiveness. In this case, most of the faculty members become distracted and divert their attention to irrelevant issues. Chen et al., 2011 notes that a team that has a defined goal and communicated vision can rally the efforts of its members towards the same direction.

Fifthly, lack of defined roles in a faculty may also lead to employee demotivation. For instance, an employee may not be aware of the impact they have on a team despite being a vital facet to its success. The situation is caused by undefined roles where leaders or project managers fail to identify the functions of their members (Yang et al., 2011). Moreover, the members may misinterpret each other's actions due to lack of clarity, which may result in conflicts. In this case, confusion may arise if two people think they are performing the same task. In the case of AB University, the faculty leaders may have failed to outline the employees' roles correctly thus causing conflicts that may have resulted in people quitting their jobs.

Remedies to Improve Team Leadership

According to Bush and Glover (2012), leaders may foster employee engagement within a department by adopting a distributed leadership approach to management. In this case, managers or leaders support the distribution of authority informally and formally within a department or an institution using accountability and structures. The situation allows proper flow of information and job description in a team. The authors also claim that the model allows lateral and vertical dimensions of leadership within a faculty (Bush & Glover, 2012). For instance, a leader delegates sufficient authority to other team members and demands for their accountability and responsibility. As a result, the members work hard to achieve their targets alongside the team's shared goal.

Moreover, in a distributed leadership model, people become engaged and interested in their roles since they have the authority to conduct various activities. The approach also allows the spread and increase of the leadership size in an organization (Harris, 2004). In the case of AB University, the faculties' heads should delegate authority to their members to ensure that they are accountable for their actions and specialty. The situation would reduce absenteeism and demotivation in the meetings.

Secondly, Tyssen et al. (2013) claim that leaders may utilize transformational and longitudinal leadership methods to improve the outcomes of their projects or teams. Transformational leadership is one that allows leaders and team members to identify needed changes and work together towards the realization of the goal. In this case, leaders allow members' participation, opinions, and suggestions; therefore, employees' motivation and morale increases (Yang et al., 2001). The method also takes into account interpersonal relationships within a department, which raises employees' interest towards a specific project. Different faculties in AB University should utilize a transformational leadership model to eliminate cases of disengagement and loss of attention towards their common goals.

Thirdly, Cottrill, Lopez, & Hoffman (2014) outline that authentic leadership is essential in creating the overall culture of a team. In this case, leaders encourage cultural diversity and inclusion within their groups, which fosters authenticity of the members. Moreover, authentic leaders have high moral and psychological standards that allow them to serve as role models (Avolio et al., 2004). Furthermore, a leader who is self-aware can foster an organizational citizenship behavior (OCB), which allows members to contribute actively towards a team's effectiveness (Cottrill et al., 2014). In the case of AB University, department heads may be serving as poor role models to their followers; thus contributing to their negative behavior. The leaders should learn to be authentic and encourage diversity and inclusivity since the university is a multicultural institution. The situation would increase OCB and promote organizational based self-esteem since workers feel respected and valued.


Overall, the type of leadership plays a critical role in the effectiveness of a team. Poor leadership skills and structures result in employee demotivation, disengagement, low productivity, and job turnover. Poor communication, lack of inclusion and diversity, and use of authoritative leadership models are the primary causes of discontentment within a department. Leaders can adopt authentic, transformational, and distributed leadership, which will allow them to engage their subordinates in the creation of shared goals and commitments.


Avolio, B.J., Gardner, W.L., Walumbwa, F.O., Luthans, F. and May, D.R. (2004). Unlocking the mask: a look at the process by which authentic leaders impact follower attitudes and behaviors. The Leadership Quarterly, 15(6), 801-823. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2004.09.003

Bush, T., & Glover, D. (2012). Distributed leadership in action: leading high performing leadership teams in English schools. School Leadership and Management, 32(1), 21-36. DOI: 10.1080/13632434.2011.642354

Chen, G., Sharma, P. N., Edinger, S. K., Shapiro, D. L., & Farh, J. L. (2011). Motivating and demotivating forces in teams: Cross-level influences of empowering leadership and relationship conflict. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(3), 541. doi: 10.1037/a0021886.

Cottrill, K., Lopez, P. D., & C. Hoffman, C. (2014). How authentic leadership and inclusion benefit organizations. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 33(3), 275-292.

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