Team Leadership

By Progression

The ability to maintain quality, efficiency and establish trust in your ability

Level 1

Capable of informally managing interns, contractors, suppliers and agencies. Possibly manages one or two junior team members. Doesn't look for glory, and doesn't complain about boring work. Assumes good decisions in others work. Broadly does what they say they're going to do.

  • Vulnerability: You proactively admit fault and weakness in yourself to team members, and admit mistakes made in work you've done.

  • Reliability: You are open about your intentions when making a team-level decision – for example moving people between teams or introducing new role expectations – and follow through.

  • Difficult conversations: You help individuals on your team with difficult personal decisions and act in an objective, professional manner.

  • Putting the team first: You regularly make time for listening to and understanding the people you're responsible for.

Level 2

Capable of managing a small team effectively. Happily sits in meetings so the team doesn't have to. Follows through on promises around work, rewards and time.

  • Vulnerability: You share your strengths and development areas with your team regularly, encouraging feedback and support. You own up whenever you've failed and apologise when appropriate.

  • Reliability: You have been consistently open about intentions and reliable when executing multiple team-level decisions affecting the working days and potential happiness of your team.

  • Difficult conversations: You have had hard conversations about compensation, performance or work-related issues with members of your team, and dealt with them effectively and professionally

  • Putting the team first: You put the team first in your priority list, as demonstrated by several examples of you taking on administrative or boring work on their behalf.

Level 3

Capable of managing a larger team effectively. Protects the team, ensuring they're always clear on the goal, but also works to create space for them to make decisions and grow. Zero ego: open and honest with intentions, goals, failings and expectations. Dependable to a fault, leading to deep trust amongst direct reports.

  • Vulnerability: You make a point of asking for feedback on your actions from your team. You consciously make time for self-reflection and evaluation, which you open up for others to view. You recognise the value of being human to your team.

  • Reliability: You are honest and open about intentions and goals with regards to major team level decisions affecting multiple direct reports. You listen to feedback and adjust plans where possible. You deliver as promised.

  • Difficult conversations: Over a significant period of time you manage team-level conversations effectively, as proven by your ability to maintain a largely happy and committed team throughout your tenure.

  • Putting the team first: You're visibly selfless and devoted as a manager. You repeatedly put the team first in decisions which affect your workload. You give opportunities for your team to shine in situations you could take yourself.

Level 4

Capable of managing a team of managers. Coaching others in team leadership skills. Understands the limits of their knowledge and ensures that they're allowing the team to create their best work, without getting in the way. Manages stakeholders across the business to protect the team and work, and revels in taking on people-focused tasks.

  • Vulnerability: You not only admit weakness to your direct reports but put structures in place for them to admit weakness to you and their teams also. You foster an atmosphere of vulnerability across your wider organisation through example.

  • Reliability: You broadcast large team-level decisions around structure, compensation or workload effectively, making it clear to all why decisions are being made. You meticulously ensure that concerns are noted and followed up.

  • Difficult conversations: You repeatedly mediate difficult conversations between others in your wider team, helping your direct reports to come to a good solution around performance, title, attitude or compensation with members of their teams.

  • Putting the team first: You repeatedly empowered your manager direct reports to make decisions about their own teams. You choose to make members of your team responsible for decisions of strategic importance when they are passionate about the outcome.

Level 5

Capable of managing an organisation of multiple teams across different groups, products or projects. Finds and builds managers who display great team leadership skills in themselves. Is a recognised coach for leaders in other disciplines in the organisation. Facilitates better relationships in teams outside their usual remit.

  • Vulnerability: You lead the wider business in showing the power of being fallible - making and sharing case studies of your screw-ups across the business and industry. Because of this you gain a significant level of trust and respect, and are regularly called on to coach other senior leaders and execs in vulnerability.

  • Reliability: You plan and manage major team level decisions, that have implications for people at all levels of your wider team, clearly and efficiently. You make time for everyone's concerns and used different communication channels effectively and thoughtfully, keeping your team informed throughout.

  • Difficult conversations: You are regularly called on to train senior managers in conversations around performance, compensation or levelling, including outside of your reporting line. You yourself are considered an expert in coaching and mentoring others in their management duties.

  • Putting the team first: You act as guardian to large organisations with multiple teams and layers for a meaningful period of time, ensuring its health while being comfortable in the shadows with many people not knowing what you do. You spend 100% of your time focused on leveraging the expertise of your reports.

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