Who should lead your team? The answer may not be as clear as you think. But it may be one of the most important decisions you’ll make if you are trying to build a high performance team.

You may be thinking, “I’ll lead the team.” Well, that might be the right answer and it might not. If your goal is to create a high performance team, the point leader, or supervisor, is often not involved in the day-to-day work of the team. Let me clarify…

A high performance team should be equipped and empowered to manage their day-to-day work without direct, hands-on involvement of their supervisor. Only then does this approach create maximum capacity for the leader who chartered the team in the beginning. If your physical presence is required for your team to do great work, you have become a hostage of the team.

So, who leads the team if the point leader is not directly involved? I want to provide a two-part answer:

First, in a high performance team, leadership should be viewed as a role to be filled more than a position to be pursued. And, based on the work at hand, leadership should be provided by different people. Leadership in a high performance team should always be fluid. As an example, if the topic is marketing oriented, your marketing leader needs to step up; or a human resources issue, the HR person should lead.

Next, regarding who leads the team meetings, you can certainly have a designated facilitator, team captain, even a general manager; you can call them whatever you like as long as he or she clearly understands the role they are to fill.

The person in this role must:

Believe in the power of the team.

Believe in shared leadership.

Believe in the power of collaboration.

Believe in the process of building a team.

If your designated captain is: a high control individual; autocratic; dictatorial; domineering; prefers a Command and control style; or if you’ve ever heard them say: “My way or the highway!” he or she should not be in charge. To do so will guarantee the team will never reach its full potential.

The power of the team resides in the team – not in the mandates and edicts of a single leader. No matter how talented a leader is a high performance team is more talented. Together, we will always be smarter than any one of us alone. The aspiration of high performance demands this truth be celebrated not suppressed.

If you to build a high performance team be sure you don’t undermine your efforts by allowing anyone to hijack the process.[GLS_Shield]

Author: Mark Miller

Mark is a business leader, author, communicator, photographer, husband, and father. He spends his time helping leaders grow.