Team leadership: The secrets of an effective leader

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In the modern business world, the concept of team leadership is evolving.

Once associated with hierarchical authority and unilateral decisions, today's leadership is based on collaboration, listening and the ability to follow as well as lead.

In this article, we'll explore why a modern leader must also be a good follower, and how this duality can enhance team effectiveness and cohesion.

The evolving nature of team leadership

Team leadership is no longer about giving orders and expecting blind execution.

Instead, it's now a dynamic process of active collaboration, where leader and team members engage in open dialogue, exchange ideas and make decisions together.

This approach fosters an environment where every voice is valued and where a diversity of perspectives is encouraged.

The importance of following

Being an effective leader means more than just leading the charge at all times.

On the contrary, italso meansknowing when to follow. The ability to listen to the ideas of others, to give way and to recognize the expertise of colleagues is an essential characteristic of a good leader, and it's also what makes an excellent follower.

This creates a dynamic where each team member feels valued for their unique skills, fostering an environment of mutual trust. Emotional intelligence plays a crucial role here.

By showing that you can learn from others and adapt to different situations, you earn the respect and loyalty of your team. 

Building trust and cohesion

By adopting a follower role when necessary, a leader demonstrates openness and a willingness to share power and responsibility.

When a leader listens to his teammates, gives them a voice and highlights their contributions, he reinforces the group's cohesion. It's a sign that everyone has their place and that the team functions as a unit, rather than as a collection of isolated individuals.

By recognizing that everyone can contribute to the team's success, it helps the leader remain humble and creates an environment where everyone feels invested in the common success. It can also reduce stress and increase job satisfaction, as team members feel they are working together towards a common goal.

Promoting professional and personal development

An often overlooked but essential aspect of modern leadership is promoting the professional and personal development of team members.

By embracing the role of follower, a leader demonstrates not only his humility but also his desire to see his collaborators grow and flourish. By encouraging ongoing training, offering mentoring opportunities and supporting each member's individual goals, the leader creates an environment where everyone feels valued not only as a professional, but also as a person.

This approach fosters a culture of learning and growth within the team, where members are motivated to excel and reach their full potential. By investing in employee development, the leader strengthens the bond of trust and commitment within the team, resulting in enhanced collective performance and high job satisfaction.

Encouraging innovation and creativity

The most innovative and creative teams are often those where leaders encourage initiative-taking and the active participation of all team members.
Being a good follower means recognizing that the best ideas can come from any member of the team, and being ready to support and implement them.
This approach creates a climate where members feel comfortable proposing creative solutions without fear of being judged or ignored. It can also lead to unique and innovative solutions to complex problems, as the leader gives his or her team the freedom to think outside the box.

Cultivating humility

Encouraging a leadership system that integrates both the role of guide and follower enables the leader to maintain a humble and flexible state of mind.

By recognizing that he or she doesn't always have all the answers, and by being willing to listen and learn from other team members, the leader demonstrates humility and openness to personal growth.

It encourages a culture where the leader and team members can admit their mistakes and learn from them, leading to more thoughtful decision-making and effective problem-solving.

By cultivating humility and flexibility, the leader contributes to the long-term success of his team and the organization as a whole.


Modern team leadership is based on a balanced approach between leadership and follow-up. By listening, recognizing skills and encouraging the participation of all team members, a leader creates an environment conducive to collective success.

Whether you're an experienced leader or just starting out, remember that the ability to be both a good leader and a good follower is essential to creating a high-performance, harmonious team.

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