The Inspirational Role of a Team Lead          
Perhaps the vision of being a team lead does not inspire you with the grandiose words of the Three Musketeers. In both business and education environments, the team lead model has become commonplace.  Yet, the role does have inspirational elements.     
Having been a team leader in a variety of settings, I have personally learned about the role through some training, my own research, and the pure experience of my own successes and failures.  The majority of what I have learned, though, has come through the careful guidance (perhaps “inspiration”) of mentor teachers and administrators.    
When looking to the experts, I came across an article outlining characteristics of highly functional teams. Here are a few of the highlights from Larson and LaFasto Teamwork: What Must Go Right, What Can Go Wrong (1989).  Highly functional teams have…
1.     A clear elevating goal or vision
2.     Results driven structure
3.     Unified commitment
4.     Competent team members with right number and mix 

5.  A collaborative climate aligned towards a common purpose
6.     High standards of excellence with group norms
7.     Principled leadership
8.     External support with adequate resources          

“All for one, one for all!”  Perhaps the most famous line from the Three Musketeers is a bit over the top, but many of the characteristics of a highly functional team do engender a vision of an inspirational leader.  A team lead not only must support, guide, delegate, and manage, but must also inspire and motivate his/her team.  A team lead must seek to unify his/her team for the good of all—in this case, our students.

Krista Bridenthal
Indianapolis, IN 

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