Leadership, Motivation, and Team Performance


Leadership is a key to stable performance in any workplace that implies teamwork. To achieve an organization’s goals leaders need to use their abilities to assess, explain, and direct the behavior of their employees. Those tasks can be demanding and, therefore, there is a need to research into the necessary qualities, skills, and traits that a person is required to develop in order to become a successful leader.

Motivational Techniques in Organization

Most of the motivational techniques or strategies are based on theories of basic human needs. Maslow’s Theory of Needs is a well-known and often-applied approach in management. Maslow argues that the needs of a human being such as food and water, protection, socialization, respect, and self-actualization can act as drivers of all their activities including work (Skelsey, 2014). Schermerhorn and Bachrach (2016) mention Herzberg’s two-factor model, according to which an employee’s motivation is influenced mostly by achievement and recognition. This correlates with Maslow’s theory and further develops it in the organizational setting. There are different motivational strategies that managers can utilize to attain subordinates to perform willingly and effectively. In accordance with theoretical implications, there are several dimensions in which motivation could apply. They include the working environment in its social context, employee’s personal goals, self-development, reward, and recognition.

To address all these needs, several motivational techniques could be used. One of them is job rotation. It helps boost motivation by letting team members switch tasks and enhance their skills in new spheres. In addition, it also helps team members form new social ties and connections broadening their communication network, and, as a result, making their working environment friendlier. A performance-based model of payment could serve as another technique that could effectively motivate employees to perform at the top of their capacity. According to Riccucci (2015), a payment scheme connected to performance could add a financial aspect to employees’ motivation, which could encourage them to work harder due to a natural desire to earn more. Another useful motivational technique is team building. Team building can have various agendas depending on the needs of the team. It could be aimed either at developing tighter relationships between team members or celebrating notable events. A leader could use it to recognize subordinates’ achievements using other team members’ positive spirit.

Team Performance Measurement

Team performance is a multifaceted subject, and many techniques could be applied to measure it. Franco-Santos, Lucianetti, and Bourne (2012), for example, use two key performance measurement dimensions such as employees’ behavior, and organizational capabilities. The first sphere deals with financial and non-financial consequences of working activity for individuals while the second focuses on similar implications but on a larger scale. For instance, after project completion, such an evaluation paradigm defines whether team members benefited from its completion financially, morally, and professionally. It also evaluates a team’s cumulative impact on the company’s performance characteristics such as financial wellbeing, strategic goal attainment, and other key items.

A team leader’s role in this process is to understand the implicit effects that work has on their team, establish a connection between these factors, and decide whether a change is required. To my mind, this model of performance measurement would be excellent in smaller teams and organizations due to its personal approach, and I would definitely apply it in my practice.

Communication and Collaboration in Team Dynamics

Communication is a vital aspect of every team. Depending on the communicational strategies and their successful application, the result could either be positive and build healthy collaboration or tear down a productive attitude within a team. Menzel (2012) argues that integrity as a basis for successful communication is the key to establishing trust and can, therefore, lead to creation instead of destruction. Interpersonal relationships within the team based on trust allow members to be proactive about their considerations, critique, and suggestions. Such openness creates a plethora of ideas, which a leader could use to improve his or her management style, alter the course of the project or channel the team’s energy into creating something new. This could be extremely useful in teams working on creative solutions (Goetsch, & Davis, 2014). Integrity needs to work in both directions, and leaders should also be open about the rationale for their decisions. However, boundaries are also in order. In a creative environment, integrity and the number of new ideas generated by it could undermine the project making the team lose its focus. Therefore, a good leader needs to be able to balance freedom of thought with explicit goal setting.

Leader SWOT Analysis

Based on the leadership dimensions examined above, a SWOT analysis demonstrating core leadership competencies can be carried out. As for the internal factors such as strengths and weaknesses, a leader should build up the former and work on eliminating the latter. Among the strengths of a successful leader, there could be a drive for personal development, diversity, listening, and critical thinking. A will for self-development is a crucial factor that allows a leader to become a better version of self and be able to adapt to new circumstances and people more easily.

Being diverse helps interact with people more openly. Listening is probably the most essential skill for a leader, as subordinates are the main driving force, and most of the initiative often comes from them. Proficient listening skills help gather enough information for decisions and form a positive attitude towards a leader because people often appreciate it when others value their opinion. Critical thinking is another strength that a proper leader should possess. It allows weighing all pros and cons to produce the best solution. Possible weaknesses include the lack of proactivity and conflict avoidance. These two traits could reduce the possibility of a person becoming a leader in the first place or undermine his or her capacity to be effective at a position of power.


External factors in the face of opportunities and threats can also significantly influence leadership behavior. A robust opportunity is to develop a well-round knowledge of psychology, as this science branch allows interacting with people more effectively. Possible threats could include losing a grip on a team. A leader should be aware of the factors that can undermine his or her authority. All the above-mentioned competencies could enable leaders to develop characteristics that will help them create and manage a high-performance team of professionals. Continuous personal and professional development through theory and practice appears to be the best way to become successful as a leader. Attaining as many qualities as possible is a goal that every leader should pursue.


Franco-Santos, M., Lucianetti, L., & Bourne, M. (2012). Contemporary performance measurement systems: A review of their consequences and a framework for research. Management Accounting Research, 23(2), 79–119.

Goetsch, D. L., & Davis, S. B. (2014). Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Menzel, D. C. (2012). Ethics management for public administrators: Leading and building organizations of Integrity. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

Riccucci, N. M. (2015). Public personnel management. London, UK: Routledge.

Schermerhorn, J. S., & Bachrach, D. G. (2016). Exploring management (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Skelsey, H. (2014). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – The sixth level. Psychologist, 27, 982-983.

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