For many of us, a large part of our day is spent at work.
People who live in high traffic cities like Lagos, Nairobi or Cairo spend additional hours commuting to and from work. There’s also the ever-growing “always on” work culture that eats into our time outside the office.

While the battle for work-life balance continues, people would rather work in a team led by someone who understands that they are looking to make a difference and make them feel as if they matter in the larger scheme of things. Understanding this is the first step to achieving results for any team lead.

Modern work culture has proven most traditional leadership concepts wrong – leaders are no longer burdened with the expectation of being heroes with all the solutions, nor are they expected to always be in the spotlight and show no vulnerabilities. Rather, we have seen the birth of new leaders at every level in the workplace.

Leading a team is one of the most important roles anyone can hold in an organisation, as the collective success of various teams are often responsible for the great results recorded by many top companies in the world. As a result, team leads have a great responsibility and need to focus on creating winning teams.

I align with the 5 key team dynamics which Google says set the teams that succeed aside from those that don’t.

Of the five, I hold dependability close to my heart. Team leads should strive to build a dependable team with members who can rely on one another to do high quality work on time.

Next to dependability is meaning of work. You’d do well to build a team of purposeful individuals who are emotionally invested in their work – beyond earning a pay, their work holds a personal value to them.

Also, team leads must ensure members of their team experience some form of psychological safety. In other words, they trust the team enough to be willing to share ideas or concerns, ask questions and make mistakes without fear of being punished or humiliated. It is important that every team member feels safe and respected.

Another key dynamic is the impact of work. We all need reassurances that our efforts count; that the work we are doing really matters no matter how little they might seem.

Lastly, team leads should avoid the temptation to constantly criticize their team members, rather, lavish with praise, even for small improvements, focus on their strengths and work with them to improve on their weaknesses.

It is very important to have clear goals, roles and execution plans but what is also important is teamwork and only a great team lead can make a great team work.

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