Great Leaders Learn to Lead; Who is Your Next Rising Star?


What makes a great team leader? There’s not one standard answer, but there are some common traits that contribute to success.

Great team leaders are confident in their knowledge and ability to do their jobs and show that by leading by example. They are people who communicate expectations well and are ready to train and help in whatever way a team member needs to get their day-to-day and long-term projects completed. They work hard, listen to team members and are accountable.

There are many more aspects to consider, but how do people gain these abilities? Are they just natural traits a person may have and when we recognize them, we promote them? Good employees may self-select out of leadership positions because they don’t feel they have the traits or skills needed to succeed.

Employers often make the mistake of promoting a dedicated and successful worker to the team leader position but without first providing the guidance and training time needed to develop the skills to effectively lead others. The team leader’s success is now gauged by their team members’ success — a very different role.

There can be quite a lag time while this new leader learns by trial and error, and it can be a daunting task. Instead, provide training and a way for employees to further develop within your company. Keep in mind: With our workforce getting younger, we are finding Millennials (and the soon to follow Z Generation) are interested in learning and development more than in other kinds of benefits and are interested in moving into leadership positions more quickly. Now may be a good time to develop their leadership skills.

At the MBA, we can help. Our five-part Leadership for Team Leaders Certificate series teaches and reinforces the critical skills for team leader success in a highly interactive and relaxed atmosphere, setting up your future leaders for success. To learn more about the program, visit the Training section of our website at or call me at 814/833-32000.

Lisa DeFilippo is a training specialist at the Manufacturer & Business Association where she is involved in creating and presenting professional development educational programs for a wide range of employers. DeFilippo has a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and has been training for more than 25 years on numerous business and leadership topics both nationally and throughout the region.