Leadership for teamwork and personal responsibility: 7 tips for self-directed teams

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What does the future of our working world look like? In the discussion about New Work, the media and society agree on two things: It needs a new understanding of Guide - and employees should urgently be given more responsibility. How does that concrete look?

Leadership for teamwork and personal responsibility: 7 tips for self-directed teams killer-phrase

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Uta Rohrschneider UtaUta Rohrschneider is Managing Partner of grow.up. Management consulting.


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Self-directed teams, networks, and cross-site collaboration are the buzzwords that are currently all about. In this article, you'll learn why this evolution requires rethinking and learning on both sides, and what leaders can do to help their employees move toward self-organized, high performance.

Teams that are highly motivated, self-reliant and self-organized from success to success - the dream of every leader. But the thing has a catch: just because you decide that in yours Company From now on agile will work, your employees will not be at the push of a button to become independent superpowers, which regulate everything without your help.

7 Tips: Self-controlled teams lead

Your support as a leader is needed here so that your team can find their way around the new situation and establish it. Hand on heart: What about your leadership style? If you prefer to hold all the strings in your own hands, monitor and control tasks down to the smallest detail, you need not be surprised that teamwork in your company is rather suboptimal.

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  1. Employees need leadership: The fact is: employees are not in a position to organize, control, make decisions and take responsibility on their own if they have not previously needed or were not allowed to do so. Your way of leadership has a great influence on the thinking and acting of your employees! In order to empower your team to take personal responsibility, it is necessary that you position yourself as a sparring partner and coach rather than a manager in the “classic sense”.
  2. Reduce your influence: It is time that you reduce your impact on the work of your employees and involve them more in decision-making. Even if it is difficult for you. At this point a high degree of trust is required of you. Let it be and believe in the efficiency and responsibility of your employees! Because only if you make a part of your responsibility and give your employees the necessary space, they will be able to develop accordingly.
  3. Do all employees want to own responsibility at all? Clear case. Not all employees want to work self-controlled. But it can also not be a solution to exclude them from teamwork. This is where your support is needed, so that the team can find itself and establish itself so that the cooperation is ultimately a complete success. The fact is, in every company, there is a larger part of employees who are completely satisfied with keeping clear work instructions from above. On the other hand, however, there are also employees who may have already worked independently for a long time. This is not a big problem, but you have to take these differences into consideration when forming your team.
  4. What must a self-controlled team do? A self-directed team must inherently take on many roles that you have previously assumed as a leader. This means that there must be people in the team who cultivate relationships and external communication. There must be people who pay close attention to quality, structures, processes and rules. There have to be people who keep the team together, provide balance and good mood. And there must be people who bravely go forward, who also drive the team once and bring in new ideas. You see, it's not enough to just roll up a troop quickly. Rather, it is crucial that you make the selection very carefully and look closely at your employees for their skills and potential for self-directed work. Anything else would lead to excessive demands, frustration and at worst to failed projects.
  5. Task allocation: team stands for diversity! In order to create a working team from the different characters, your human knowledge is in demand. How do you assess your employees with regard to this question - who brings the necessary competence for the planned project from his / her work performance, who is also characterized by high motivation and responsibility and who needs a leading hand to make a contribution?
  6. Use personality tools like the LUXXprofile: With the aid of the scientifically based diagnostic tool, a personal motivation profile can be created for each employee, which precisely shows which values ​​and motives influence and shape individual thinking, action and emotional experience. Use this knowledge for Teambuilding to distribute the roles, tasks and responsibilities according to the personal values ​​and motivations of your employees!
  7. Do not decide beyond the heads of the team! Especially in a self-controlled team, the members should also be involved and have a co-right to speak. In this way, you can work together to ensure that everyone is in a position that best suits his personality, motivation and value system. The positive side effects speak for themselves: This ensures that all team members have long-term motivation and performance. And you give your employees the opportunity to get to know each other better and understand why a person behaves in a certain way - and how such personality traits can be used as synergies within the framework of self-controlled teamwork.


"Treat people as if they were what they should be and help them become what they can be." This quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe sums up what is important for successful work in self-directed teams. The most important thing is that you withdraw yourself as a manager and instead take the opportunity to become a coach and supporter of your employees.

Promote and develop them in self-employment and self-help and help them to become the best possible version of their own. You can create the ideal starting situation by reflecting on your own leadership behavior and, above all, by analyzing the potential and personality traits of your employees.

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