Team Leadership Model

TeamworkA lack of leadership is often seen as a roadblock to a team's performance. As Stewart and Manz (1995, p.748) write,

“More specifically, work team management or supervision is often identified as a primary reason why self-management teams fail to properly develop and yield improvements in productivity, quality, and quality of life for American workers.”

Rather than focusing on ineffective teams, Larson and LaFasto (1989) looked in the opposite direction by interviewing excellent teams to gain insights as to what enables them to function to a high degree. They came away with the following conclusions:

Team Leadership Model

While there are several Team Leadership models, Hill's Team model is perhaps one of the best known ones as it provides the leader or a designated team member with a mental road map to help diagnose team problems, and then take appropriate action to correct team problems (Northouse, 2007). This Team Leadership model is built on a number of research projects:

Hill's Team Leadership Model
Team Leadership Model

The Four Layers or Steps in the Team Leadership Model

1. Top layer: Effective team performance begins with leader’s mental model of the situation and then determining if the situation requires Action or Monitoring?

2. Second Layer: Is it at an Internal or External leadership level?

3. Third layer: Is it Task, Relational, or an Environmental intervention? Select a function depending on the type of intervention. See the next section for explanation of Function Interventions.

4. Bottom layer: Correctly performing the above three steps create high Performance through Development and Maintenance functions.

Team Leadership Function Interventions

Internal Task Functions:

Internal Relationship Functions

External Environmental Functions

Next Steps

Next chapter: Horizontal Leadership: Flattening the Organization

Activity: Team leadership Survey

Main Leadership Page

Related Pages:


Larson, C.E., LaFasto, F.M.J. (1989). Teamwork: What must go right, what can go wrong. Newberry Park, CA: Sage.

Northouse, G. (2007). Leadership Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Stewart, G.L., Manz, C.C. (1995). Leadership for self-managing work teams: A typology and integrative model. Human Relations, 48(7), 747-770.