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Leadership, Team Commitment and Team Motivation

How can a leader increase the commitment of a team? How would a leader know if the team is motivated and committed to the group?

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1. How can a leader increase the commitment of a team?

There are several ways that a leader can build a team and increase the commitment of a team. Initially, when building a team (or, in an already formed 'ineffective' team) the leader needs to do two things:

1. Start with Your Ability to Relate - Every possibility, from landing the contract to the romantic evening hinges on your ability to relate. But neither profit nor pleasure are the primary motivation for teamwork. Productive teamwork moves you toward challenge, through change, with more confidence. Working well on any team generates energy and enthusiasm for life.

2. Some are More Skilled than Others - This ability is learned. You do not need complex interaction formulas. You don't have to be easy-going, well educated, hard-nosed, or even especially intelligent to build a team. You don't have to be anything other than yourself. You can be effective with people using common sense and a few fundamental principles (

Other things that the leader can do to build and/or increase team commitment and motivation are as follows. Notice how each builds on each other.

1. Vision

Vision means being able to excite the team with large, desired outcomes.

Large outcomes mean devising goals that attract missionaries. The first step in vision is to project such a goal. This goal must be bigger than a pay check. It must contain challenge, appeal to personal pride, and provide an opportunity to make a difference and know it. Then the goal can become a powerful vision.

Next, team leaders position the goal by picturing success. Initial questions might be, "What will it look like when we get there?", "What will success be like, feel like?," "How will others know?" When a large, missionary-friendly goal has been pictured and clearly communicated, the vision is complete.

2. Commitment

Commitment can be a dangerous concept because of its attendant assumptions. Some may assume, for example, that commitment means long hours, while to others it may mean productivity. When expectations are defined, success rates soar. When leaders assume that everyone "should" be committed, as a matter of course, we overlook the difficulties many have with certain commitments.

If people cannot initially commit, it doesn't mean they don't care. More often, it means they do care, and they are caught up in a process of doubt. This process precedes every meaningful commitment. Effective leaders catalyze this process, so that the critical mass of people can pass through this stage efficiently on their way to genuine commitment and innovative strategies.

This pre-commitment process is the same for team leaders and members. When we ponder a new commitment, we climb up to a kind of mental diving board. Commitments contain unknowns, and some warn of possible failure. It is common for people to neither jump nor climb back down the "ladder," but rather to stay stuck at the end of the board, immobilized in pros, cons, obstacles, and worries. In this state of mind, the obstacles ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains how a leader can increase the commitment of a team, as well as how a leader would know if the team is motivated and committed to the group. Supplemented with an article on characteristics of effective team leaders that are linked to team commitment and motivation.