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3 Criteria to consider when electing a team leader

Office politics – vote for the right leader

South Africa is a democratic country, and we have the right to take part in an open and fair election. Everyone eligible to vote can choose whichever party they deem fit, to be elected as the party to run the country. On a daily basis, team leaders are appointed to head teams in order to achieve certain objectives. Team  leaders are elected to establish cooperation amongst members, ensure that the team morale remains high and that the team stays motivated. The question then posed is whether or not employees should elect their own team leaders in the workplace?

Selecting the wrong leader can have harmful effects on the overall goals of the organization. Part of an emerging trend in democratized companies is self-elected task teams and voting for their own team leader. Why? Simple…team members need someone they look up to and someone they can relate to. Management might have a few candidates in mind, but your employees should be able to work with someone they respect and will listen too.

However, sometimes it is hard for an employee or co-worker to determine whom he/she needs to vote for especially if they don’t really know the person all that well or if there are a few candidates up for the challenge. Others might elect a team leader for the wrong reasons. The key is to educate your staff on selecting the right leader. Leadership is such a comprehensive subject, but we suggest looking at three criteria as stepping stones:

  1. Choose someone who leads by example. Someone who leads by example will keep the team aligned with the goals of the company. They will be able to relate to team members and become someone whom they look up to and a role model.
  2. Choose someone who listens and communicates well. This will help with understanding what to do and to keep to the deadlines. Good communication skills will also eliminate confusion or help with swift problem solving and clever decision making.
  3. Choose someone whom you respect and aspire to be like. A leader who is also a mentor becomes a confidant. Leaders who have the qualities of mentors offer advice, emotional support and act as a role model.

The best team leader should be someone that will motivate his/her team to get the job done. There is always the danger of employees selecting the wrong person to lead them. A good team is a reflection of the right leadership.