Teams and other important things

Teams and other important things

Do you regularly see the activity where someone ask individuals or a group to visualise a particular career?

The questioner asks “think of a farmer - what did you imagine?” Careers that are regularly included are police, teacher, lawyer, pilot.

And although “leader” is not necessarily a vocation I still consider “think of a leader - what did you imagine?” This exercise can be revealing for us all.

Having worked in the field of developing leaders for nearly three decades, at Affectus, we are keen for people to see leaders differently.

We  have seen change. However the concept of team leadership can assist with our ability to shake up leadership in a way that will embrace the concepts of courage and vulnerability. We believe these concepts have always been part of leadership.

What is team leadership?

Team leadership is what leadership has always been about. Leadership may appear a solitary occupation and yes, sometimes, it can feel lonely but, we all know that leadership is always done with teams.

Margaret Meade said

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” 

We will come back to this concept and tie these ideas together.

Leadership is about taking those around you to a new visionary future. To do this we must be in an environment where risk is OK’d. and for this to happen vulnerability must be an observable behaviour and embraced as a team value.

So, what does opening yourself up to be vulnerable do? Let’s come back to that also.

Finally, leadership is also about courage. But what allows us to be courageous?

Teams, Vulnerability and Courage


  • leadership to happen
  • the group of individuals to change the world
  • any group anywhere
  • the team to be able to see the leadership space and be courageous to take action

...we need to let people have a go and be OK about making mistakes. And people need to be supported and encouraged by the team.

Can you see the connection?

Can you see how important it is for teams, vulnerability and courage to be the leadership environment? And when this environment exists all of us can be leaders -  everywhere in the space we see and choose.

The Leadership Environment

So now to the trickiest part in this the domain for us all.

Yes, we are all so good at this stuff. It may be some or all of the three elements.

Are these concepts essential? Well possibly not.  But from my years of experience these elements, (teams, vulnerability and courage), ensure that leadership flourishes.

These elements eliminate the false focus on the single person and perfection. Both of which are counterproductive for high performance.

This environment is the environment for all.

Be comforted in knowing that if Team, Vulnerability and Courage are the concepts that are highlighted and rewarded leadership will flourish.

And then the world will change and teams will flourish. And the image in our minds-eye of “Who is a leader?” will be amazing and will include you.

Starting your Team, Vulnerability and Courage 

Here are five tips to start your Team, Vulnerability and Courage environment. 

  1. 1
    Establish whether the unwritten norm is leader (singular) or leadership (team).
  2. 2
    Ensure visionary future been established by the leadership team.
  3. 3
    Introduce the concept of open sharing of vulnerability. "We all make mistakes". "We all need people to assist us" .
  4. 4
    Configure vulnerability in away that ensures people are supported. This is best done firstly by the chair/president/CEO/manager.
  5. 5
    Encourage courage. ”Yeah that is great have a go". "You know we have got your back". "Team leadership is our norm".