While leadership and teamwork are different virtues, they are strongly related in business, sports, the military and volunteerism. It is easy to state that leaders lead, while teams follow leaders to reach goals and objectives.Yet, great teams have superior leaders as members. To paraphrase a common definition of solid leadership, "Leaders are people that other people want to follow." However, most outstanding leaders are also equally accomplished team players.
It is simple to explain leaders with one word: "charisma." But, superior leaders offer much more than that. Noteworthy leaders also deliver some combination of expertise, commitment, dedication, motivation, focus and concern for others. This combination can also create charisma for those that do not generate it naturally. Leaders are naturally goal-oriented and understand the need -- and the best way -- to communicate the objective to the team.
High performing teams buy into a "shared agenda" philosophy. By adopting the objectives of the leader and melding them with the individual goals of team members, the group becomes a stronger force than the individual strengths of the group members. Effective team members also feel a strong sense of empathy, allowing them to better understand the individuals in their group. This factor works to bring the team together to attack their common objective.
Business: A Team Sport
Except for those successful one-person proprietorships, business achievement is always a "team sport." Success requires a superior leader (coach) and outstanding teams (players). Just as top business leaders need not be "born," as they can be "made," high performing teams can be coached to success, regardless of how diversified they may be. It is possible for great teams to achieve without strong leadership. However, success comes only situationally -- or through lady luck -- under these circumstances.