Outstanding Teams: 5 Traits you want your Team Lead to excel at

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Teresa Lopez

People & Ops

February 5, 2024

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Many things are rapidly changing in the physical and virtual office, especially people and their roles. We seek a balance between the human part and the functionality of our role. The evolution of roles is one of the essential transformations in business culture and company well-being.

Putting up with a "boss" seems like an old horror movie to many of us. And we feel in our place in cultures with visionary and humane leaders who inspire and challenge us while growing together.

We all love working in functional teams with healthy and stimulating leadership. Below are some fundamental characteristics that will move forward a healthy business culture:

Has a vision

"The question is not what you look at but what you see." (Henry David Thoreau)

A leader is a visionary. Being a leader it is not about defining every part of the path but about seeing an opportunity on the horizon and firmly believing in its potential and fulfillment. The clarity and security of those undertaking a project are contagious, creating team cohesion and generating trust. The opposite causes dispersion and lack of motivation.

This directionality usually comes from balancing strong intuition and great logical sense. Furthermore, the leader dares to move forward and achieve the vision. Clear vision is the antidote to criticism and mistrust:


"As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others." Bill Gates

A true leader gives service. Furthermore, a leader is aware that there is a need that must be met in the market, and it strives to fine-tune the product or project so that it does so.

And within the organization, guides, facilitates, empowers, and provides a sense of security. Leaders have a significant role in the overall planning, and for quite some time, they will also act as managers in some areas. Leaders and managers are not the same in skills and role, but some leaders can be very useful as managers during specific stages of the company, specially at the beginning. If they align with team members with management skills and boost those, an organic delegation of areas and a cohesive management style can consolidate with time.

This way of providing service must be based on the organization's values, to which everyone must come back and review, including the leader.

Strives for alignment

"The purpose of a team is not goal attainment but goal alignment." Tom DeMarco

Leaders should reinforce team decision-making and individual and collective feedback and improve problem-solving ability by providing a pragmatic vision.

Steve Jobs said that much of Apple's success was because it worked like a start-up: all the managers met periodically and only left the meeting once everyone was aligned.

When a team has a global vision, we understand why something is necessary and avoid friction. It is essential to be open to other visions and strive to find common ground.

Along with alignment, helping to keep the team accountable without falling into micromanagement helps a lot.

Practices self-criticism

"A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better." -Jim Rohn

Anna Wintour said that for reaching consistent success, she surrounds herself with those who can disagree with her and express their ideas without fear.

We have to be humble and strong-minded to expose ourselves to a continuous feedback exercise. Some typical instruments in startups for this are holding open 1:1s, Retrospectives, and leadership meetings. When someone is interested in improving, they can ask you directly what you think they can do better.

This healthy self-criticism also makes it possible to lead others to that point where they can see where they can improve and how. With consistency and perseverance, this can be a steady path to excellence.



“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence." Sheryl Sandberg

Sometimes, we seek enthusiasm to get motivated. Whoever has a dream can ignite others. Or at least help them feel more excited.

On the other hand, the feeling of security as you progress is essential. If a leader inspires movement, security, and calm, the team can generate a culture of well-being and balance. Consistent and positive leadership is part of a culture that can function independently.

About the Author

People and Ops. I love encouraging people, teams, and innovative projects to reach their full potential and shine.

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Teresa Lopez
Teresa Lopez

People & Ops

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