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Leadership and Team Guiding Processes

Even if team leadership must always be understood as an interaction between the leader and the team members, the role of ‘leader’ gains particular significance with regard to the shaping of team dynamics, i.e. the guiding processes (at least there, where such a defined role is given). There are several factors affecting this:

• The first is almost trivial: the formal power of a leader (issuing instructions, promoting, rewarding, disciplining etc.) means having influence on the future consequences for employees, made possible by them, and thus, to a certain extent, also having influence on their behaviour (but not their experience).
• Charisma and attribution of trust, good experiences but also habits and norms lead the employees to reduce the complexity of the world through orientation to a leader (“He/she knows how things work. I will follow!”)
• The orientation towards factual knowledge also gives leaders strengths, which they can make available (master of their profession), as well as giving them influence over their ‘employees’ in the team. Those who understand how it works can help or refuse help and thus they can ensure influence.

These influence options are linked to expectations, both, on the side of the organisation and on the side of the employees. Thus, inevitably, the potential for disappointment and, with it, the stress potential of this role, also increases. On the other hand, with regard to the guiding processes, this role also enables great scope to shape and take responsibility, which is often hard to replace.