A Leader's Role in Developing a Team

A leader has an important role in developing the performance of their team. John Adair’s Action Centred Leadership model is an example of how they can achieve this. Good managers and leaders should have full command of the three main areas of the Action Centred Leadership model, and should be able to use each of the elements according to the situation. Being able to do all of these things and keeping the right balance, gets results, builds morale, improves quality, develops teams and productivity. This is ultimately the mark of a successful manager and leader. But there are other aspects also to consider when developing a team.

One way to help develop a team, particularly a struggling or newly established one, is to look at a model by Dr Bruce Tuckman to help you identify solutions to current issues. Tuckman published his Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing model (Group Formation Model) in 1965, adding a fifth stage, Adjourning, in the 1970s. This theory is an elegant explanation of team development and behaviour. Tuckman's model explains that as the team develops maturity, ability and as relationships establish, the leader can then change leadership style. Beginning with a directing style, moving through coaching, then participating, finishing delegating and almost detached. With your role as a leader in mind, we can use Tuckman’s model to help you grow an independent, confident and proactive team. There are suggested ‘actions’ for you to take, but these may not be suitable for everyone.

Using Tuckman’s natural process of team development, a leader can predict how their organisation may grow. This is not a certainty, and there may be circumstances that may cause a previous phase to reoccur. It is situational to the team and organisation. But by using this as a guide, one can utilise their leadership skills to devise a way of encouraging a prosperous working environment.


This section will aim to educate you on the different types of team, and how to lead and draw together people of different social or educational backgrounds to maximise workplace performance.

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Group Formation: Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing - Bruce Tuckman
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PAEI Model
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Dr Ichak Adizes' PAEI Model describes the traits and attributes that, when balanced, form a strong all-round manager or managerial team.  

This section will focus on the topic of leading and managing high-performing teams or team members through a number of techniques.

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High Performance Teams
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Katzenbach and Smith (1993) investigated the driving forces behind the highest performing teams, concluding that high-performing teams operaRead More
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Maximising Team Performance
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Five Dysfunctions of a Team - Patrick Lencioni
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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team outlines the root causes of politics and dysfunction that can exist within teams and the keys to overcomingRead More
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Video: Developing High Performance Teams
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In this short video, Ken Thompson discusses how to develop high performing teams over a short timescale using game-based learning techniques, alongsidRead More
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Video: The Habits of High-Performing Teams
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Leadership expert Ken Thompson describes the general habits of successful, high-performing teams and shares his information for leaders on how to deveRead More

This section focusses on the aspects of teamwork and co-operation required to maintain a functional and high-performing team.

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The Johari Window
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The Johari Window is a self-help tool derived by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham during the 1950s to help people to better understand their relationRead More
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Resource: People Development and Teamwork
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Running Team Briefings
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Team Briefings are used to outline the objectives of the team, assess past performance and discuss any possible queries the anyone may have. Find outRead More
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The Leader-Member Exchange Theory
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The Leader-Member Exchange Theory (LMX) is a process that explores how leaders and members develop relationships that can either contriRead More
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The GRPI Model
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Richard Beckhard’s GRPI model is an approach used to increase the effectiveness of team development and is a formula used for leading high-performanRead More
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Building Trust
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How to build trust within the workplace. Discover the importance of trust in the workplace and methods that enable its conception and growth.
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Team Exercises
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An outline of the importance of Team Exercises.
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Team Building Games
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The JD-R Model
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Explore the Job Demands-Resources model, its core concepts and applications.
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Creating a Learning Team
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How to create a learning team through environmental changes.
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Diagnostic: Team Assessment
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Diagnostic: Am I a Team Player?
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Video: Build a Tower, Build a Team
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Author, professor and fellow at Autodesk, Tom Wujec discusses research into a team building game known as the "marshmallow problem". The game involvesRead More
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Video: Building Trust
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Trust is one of the most important factors in business and personal development - however, it is also one of the most misunderstood. Researcher in busRead More

This section focusses on the idea of shared objectives in a workplace -  getting team members to commit to a number of mutual goals.

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Team Contracts
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Team contracts: An overview of their uses and importance.

This section focusses on the allocation and co-ordination of work activities, including delegation and management of specific tasks suited to different team-members.

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Team Roles - Meredith Belbin
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Birkinshaw's Four Dimensions of Management
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Cog's Ladder - George Charrier
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Understanding group behaviour formation and reinforcement through Cog's ladder.
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Managing Your Team's Workload
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Understanding how workplace evolution and other factors impact on employees ability to manage their workloads. This article will explore the implicatiRead More
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Avoiding Micromanagement
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How to avoid micromanaging your teams.
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Delegation and Empowerment
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Delegation vs. Empowerment. When is one more appropriate than the other? Which is more suitable in specific scenarios?
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Delegation Principles
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Delegation is one of the most important management skills. Good delegation saves you time, develops employees, grooms a successor, and motivates. PoorRead More
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9 Steps to Successful Delegation
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The 9 steps towards successful task delegation. Enabling you to develop your own delegative capabilities.
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Empowering Your Team
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Empowering your team through task delegation and allocation of project leadership. Aiding them to become further motivated and feel a greater sense ofRead More
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Team Brief Guidelines
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Multi-Skilling
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Understanding the concept of Multi-Skilling and the benefits of having employees that are multi-skilled.
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Video: Change Management for High Performance Teams
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Video: The Practices of High Performance Teams
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Video: Tips for Successful Delegation
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This section focusses on motivational theory and how to improve performance and drive across the group within the workplace.

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Identifying Team Member Strengths
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Identifying team members individual strengths and utilising these strengths in each project to enable each member to excel and realise their true poteRead More
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Motivating Your Team
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Exploring factors that play a role in team motivation. From specific motivational factors such as level of personal interest, to enabling successful mRead More
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Coaching Your Team
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The benefits of team coaching, understanding the positive impacts that coaching has on employees and the organisation as a whole.
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Video: Leading High Performance Teams
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Video: Steve Jobs on Managing People
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This section focusses on the processes of review and management of performance, and how to act to appraise high-performing individuals and teams.

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Measuring Team Performance
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Tips for Giving Feedback
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The Feedback Balance
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The Feedback Balance, the potential impacts when balance is not achieved when giving feedback.
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Managing Team Expectations
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Exploring how to manage team expectations, when to demonstrate expectations and how to maintain expectations.
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Talent Management
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Tips for Acquiring, Developing and Maintaining Talent.
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Rewarding Your Team
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The benefits of rewarding teams for their successes. 
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Video: Common Feedback Mistakes
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This section will focus on how to deal with problems within a team, and how to handle conflict resolution scenarios and difficult conversations.

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Video: Reducing Conflict and Building Relationships
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This section will focus on the topic of team dynamics and relationships within the workplace - how to utilise these to achieve maximal performance.

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Emotional Intelligence in Teams
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Understanding emotional intelligence dynamics within teams.
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Building a Collaborative Environment
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How to build and promote collaborative working environments within the workplace. This articles provides methods that enable the formulation of collabRead More
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Video: Effective Team Communication
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This section focusses on the challenges of leading virtual and remote teams - a topical discussion in the 21st-century business.

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Video: Introduction to High Performance, Virtual and Remote Teams
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This section contains additional resources to support the Leading Teams information available across this course.
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Building Teams Reading List
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 A list of articles for further reading on the topic of building teams.
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Effective Recruitment
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The fundamentals of effective recruitment and the recruitment process.

This section contains the end of course quiz - a test to review the progress and knowledge you gained.

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Leading Teams Quiz
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An end of course quiz to assess all that you have learnt throughout this module in Leading Teams.
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Test Your Knowledge on Leading Teams
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