The Qualities of Good Team Leaders

The Qualities of Good Team Leaders

What Are the Qualities of an Effective Team Leader?

Team captains are either selected by their coaches or voted upon by the players. However, not all team captains are good team leaders.

Sometimes, team captains talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. For example, a lazy team captain in practice might get on his teammates for being lazy.

You have likely experienced a team captain who doesn’t practice what they preach. They may jump all over you for making mental mistakes yet excuse themselves for the same mistake. 

As a result, you hear the grumblings of teammates unhappy or angry with the double standard. Eventually, the team takes sides or ignores the captain altogether. Winning is complicated when all team members are not on the same page.

This mixed message is divisive and interferes with a team’s ability to work towards a common cause.

On the other hand, a team leader provides a good example for their teammates.

Effective team leaders:

  • Work hard in training sessions
  • Put in extra work
  • Focus on team goals above personal statistics
  • Listens to the directions and feedback from the coaching staff
  • Are good communicators
  • Take responsibility for their actions

Effective, positive, and influential team leaders lead by example!

In the 2023 NBA finals, the Miami Heat lost Game 3 to the Denver Nuggets on their home court by a score of 109-94 and took a 2-1 lead in the series.

Even though Miami Heat Udonis Haslem is the team captain, forward Jimmy Butler has been a leader throughout the regular season, especially in the playoffs.

Butler has had an excellent postseason and averaged 27.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.8 steals through his first 20 games. In Game 3, the Heat lacked effort and out-rebounded 58-33.

After the game, Butler was asked, “Why do you think it was lacking tonight?”

BUTLER: “I don’t know. It just can’t happen. It won’t happen again, and it starts with myself. I gotta lock in on the defensive end. I gotta go up and get loose balls, so I think if I start playing and doing that, then everybody else has to follow suit.”

Butler put the onus on himself; he didn’t blame anyone but realized that leaders set the tone.

You don’t need to be voted captain to be a leader. In fact, being the best player or highest scorer on your team is not a requirement to be a leader. 

Every player can be a leader. It is up to you to decide what type of example you want to be to your teammates and then set that image of positive leadership into motion.

Create a list of positive qualities of “leaders.” What do great leaders do and how do they behave?

Think about the impact of captains from past teams. Were those captains good team leaders? What did you like and dislike about those past captains?

Once you develop a clear image of what a positive team leader looks and acts like, you can start being a positive example for your teammates. 

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