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.

Leading Different Types of Team
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Leading teams can be a complex task, particularly when the teams are varied in terms of composition and distribution. 

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Group Formation
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Tuckman: Four Stages of Group Development
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Leading Matrix Teams
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This section will focus on the topic of leading and managing high-performing teams or team members through a number of techniques.

Leading High-Performance Teams
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Developing and leading high-performance teams is a common, but difficult task for any manager or leader, even those with significant experience.

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

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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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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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This section focusses on motivational theory and how to improve performance and drive across the group within the workplace.

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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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This section will focus on how to deal with problems within a team, and how to handle conflict resolution scenarios and difficult conversations.

This section will focus on the topic of team dynamics and relationships within the workplace - how to utilise these to achieve maximal performance.

Team Dynamics
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Team dynamics are an integral part of team building and cooperation, and ultimately shape every interaction between team members. 

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This section focusses on the challenges of leading virtual and remote teams - a topical discussion in the 21st-century business.

Leadership Remote Teams
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Leading remote teams is becoming increasingly common, and requires very careful consideration of leadership and management approaches in order to coordinate distant team members.

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Supporting Team Members Remotely
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Remote Working, Performance and Wellbeing: The Role of Managers
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This section contains additional resources to support the Leading Teams information available across this course.
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 A list of articles for further reading on the topic of building teams.

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

Test Your Knowledge on Leading Teams
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  • The activity Leading Different Types of Team is marked complete
  • The activity Leading Matrix Teams is marked complete
  • The activity Leading High-Performance Teams is marked complete
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  • The activity Forum: Leading Teams is marked complete
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