The Four Critical Elements of a Great Team Leader

All teams need a leader, and a high-performing team needs a great one. Derived from the research of our previous book, Leading Teams, this book is laser focused on the leader and develops a checklist for any organization choosing or evaluating a team leader. In brief, here are the 4 behaviors or critical elements for a great team leader: A great team leader establishes trust, treats people well, creates a safe and supportive culture, and executes a clear strategy. This book will tell you how they do that.

The Four Critical Elements of a Great Team Leader is available on Amazon.


The Four Critical Elements of a Great Team Leader Assessment

Please rate your own leadership style based on each of the Four Critical Elements of a Great Team Leader: Trust, People, Culture, and Strategy. The assessment is directional and will tell you a lot about yourself. Please take it honestly. This survey is anonymous, and your responses will not be shared except in aggregate form.

Please assess your leadership style by selecting your response to each statement according to the following scale.

1=strongly disagree; 2= disagree; 3= neutral; 4=agree; 5= strongly agree
note: use a neutral score of 3 if unsure of certain behaviors.


Character: I tell the truth and listen well. I am committed to the organization’s success and to my team members’ successes.


Competence: I know what other team members do and I understand them, while also being self-aware of my own strengths and challenges.


Caring: I care about the well-being of myself and others, including the team, the organization, and the community.



Autonomy: I share my vision with others but ask for others’ input for their vision. I leave others alone to get their jobs done.


Engagement: I know my team’s strengths and challenges. I allow team members to leverage and use their strengths at work as much as possible.


Diversity: I seek diverse people for the team, not only in gender, age, and race, but also in intellectual diversity.



Safe: I create an atmosphere where it’s safe to speak up and tell the truth, even when it’s very uncomfortable.


Connected: I make others feel like they’re part of a team. It’s clear to them that they matter and that I respect their opinions.


Purposeful: I provide my team with a clear, challenging, and consequential sense of purpose that communicates that what we do matters to us and to the world.



Why: I let others know why we do certain things before asking them to do them. I am also clear about our team’s mission and vision going forward.


What: I work with team members to establish and set goals that drive the organization to be its best.


How: I delegate and help team members shape and set objectives that are SMART—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timebound.