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Can Strong Individual Performers Prove to be Excellent Team Leaders?

When it comes to the workplace, there are different departments. All kinds of people work in a company. As an employer or a leader, you might have noticed a particular teammate performing exceptionally. But does it mean that he can be a good team leader? Let’s find out.

A good leader will always notice the efforts of the whole team and the individuals in it. If you are stuck focusing on a single someone and end up giving good opportunities to selected people, then it might hinder the growth of other employees. For example, if a person working in sales has been performing really well during his tenure and the leaders decide to promote him as a team leader, he may fail to perform that task well. Good team leaders are people who are engaged in listening, collaborating and collecting different views and opinions. A person may succeed at doing his work individually, but being in a company means working with different individuals for a common goal. 

Sailesh Menezes, senior director & head of human resources, India, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, in an exclusive talk with HR Katha said, “Leadership is about ensuring collective victory, as a unified team. Individual performance, on the other hand, involves a focus on ensuring one’s personal output isn’t compromised. As a team leader, one has to inspire the entire team to perform and give their best. Great individual performers who are unable to inspire performance in their teams cannot make good leaders,” points out Menezes.

“A team is only as strong or as weak as its weakest link. Good leaders tend to bring up the performance of their teams along with their own,” he added further.

Many leaders also believe that pushing someone too early into leadership roles might create more issues in the workplace. It takes time and effort to understand the company as a whole. 

Menezes also said, “I have seen great individual performers struggling to get their teams in line with what they want to achieve. I think the mistake that the industry often makes is of assuming that a great individual performer automatically becomes a great leader. This also ends the careers of many individual performers, because they are promoted to a leadership role before they are even ready for it,”

Therefore, categorization for leadership should depend on multiple parameters. Good individual performance is definitely an important aspect. In addition, leaders must consider factors like the achievement of goals along with the team and the involvement of all stakeholders in the overall success. 

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