It is possible that all members of a team will need to exercise leadership at some stage during the life of a project.
It is important for us to recognise that the role of leader should be fluid as dictated by circumstances.
Although a team may have a nominated leader, there will be times when different team members need to step up, exercise their authority, and take the lead.
All team members need to be prepared to exercise leadership if, and when, the situation demands it.
There are many different models of team leadership that can be agreed at the outset and whatever is chosen can be reviewed and changed if, and when, necessary.
I have seen :
- teams sharing leadership,
- others teams agreed to have no nominated leader but instead take shared responsibility,
- leaderless teams where no one talks about who should be in charge rarely do well as no one takes the ultimate responsibility,
- adventurous and innovative teams deciding that they would change roles every month so that each team member was given the opportunity to develop a range of team skills
All of these worked because it suited the way that these teams wanted to work.
Teamwork needs leadership. But there are no set rules as to how that leadership takes its shape.