From Team Player To Leader

The highly effective leadership “why” is To develop current leaders and future leaders into highly effective leaders so that, they can develop current leaders and future leaders into highly effective leaders. Organisations need to stop only focussing on future leadership talent. They must develop the leadership talent they already have to become highly effective leaders and live out the “why”.

Leadership development is very important at every level of an organisation. It should not just be focussed on supervisors, managers, senior managers and directors. To be honest with you, most of the organisations I have worked with didn’t have leadership development at any level.

But, you are developing your team into highly effective and valuable team players. However, as you are developing highly effective team players, you are setting them up to become leaders and eventually highly effective leaders.

1. Leadership Development

So, leadership development with your team and across the organisation is more important than ever.

The people I have worked with in the past who were in management positions, they were very good at managing procedures, processes, policies and things. But, they also tried to manage their people instead of leading them.


The reason for this wasn’t entirely the manager’s fault. They were summoned into the position of manager because they were the best on the team at doing their previous job. Being good at a job has nothing to do with being good at leading and influencing people.

Unfortunately, this seems to be the case in most organisations, and this is the reason why we get good managers and not good leaders.

With these managers having a lack of leadership skills and development, it often leads to disappointment within their team and beyond their team. I have experienced this when I took up my first leadership positions.

It takes courage for a team member to step up and become the line manager of a team they were once part of. But far too often when they do step up, they are the ones to be blamed by the big boss when things go wrong, or the team are struggling. I have also experienced this, and it is a horrible feeling.

To be able to lead others well, we must learn to lead ourselves well first. When we are able to lead ourselves well, we will be in the best position to be a role model for others to follow. We will be in the best position to show others how to lead themselves well too.

2. Relationships

The books I have recommended to you throughout my articles will be a great resource that will help your team members and other members of your organisation at every level to learn how to lead themselves well, by first following a role model.

The best leaders in the world were followers too, and they were the best followers.

By developing highly effective team players into leaders, you are essentially developing great people. You are not developing average or good people; you are developing great people.

When you do this, you will be no requirement for to search the market for people because you have already developed the right kind. When there is a new leadership position vacant within your organisation, there will be so many leaders to choose from.

The headache will be deciding who deserves the role the most, and what a nice headache to have.

A lot of the bosses I have worked for have been just that…a boss! They have not been a leader with a positive influence on their people.

The relationship we had was a worker-boss relationship. But, a highly effective team need to have a different relationship with their superior, they need a follower-leader relationship.

The term boss has nothing to do with leadership. It defines a person who ensures that the workers are doing the tasks they have been set for the day. The term worker is someone who carries out their job. A boss doesn’t care if the tasks are done well, or the best of the worker’s ability.

3. Influence

They don’t even care if the task has been done to an average level, just as long as it’s done. A boss doesn’t have any real influence over the workers. The worker doesn’t follow the boss because they want to. They only follow the boss because they have to, so they can get paid at the end of the week or month.

A worker doesn’t care if they do the job to best of their ability either. In fact, a lot of workers will just about do the minimum required to get the job done and get to the end of the day so they can go home.

In most industries throughout the world, a boss is more common than a leader and a worker is more common than a follower. As I stated earlier, a boss has nothing to do with leadership. A boss manages their people instead of leading them.

They treat their people as numbers on a spreadsheet. They don’t believe that building a relationship, trust and increasing their influence is necessary.

This is why we see so many blame cultures in lots of different organisations in lots of different industries.

4. Responsibility

Bosses are not taking responsibility for when things go wrong, so they look outwards at the workers and blame them. But, when things go right the boss will take all the credit and very rarely give it to the workers.

Leaders influence their followers to follow them of their own accord. Followers don’t feel any obligation towards the leader at all. They follow the leader because that is their own decision to do so. But workers feel like they don’t have a choice.

Workers believe that if they don’t follow their boss then they won’t get paid at the end of the month. So, they do have an obligation towards their boss otherwise they will lose out. That is a horrible position to be in and is why real followers are a lot more productive than workers.

In my experience, the main reason why people leave their jobs is because of the relationship they have with their boss. This was the reason I have left all my previous jobs.

I am pretty sure this was the main reason you have left previous jobs in the past too. It is the leader’s responsibility to keep their people and develop them, so they are good enough to leave, but treat them well enough so they don’t want to leave.

Highly effective team players lead themselves well, and through their development they expect their leader to lead them and the team well too.

We have determined that leadership development must be a requirement at every level of an organisation, not just the supervisors, managers, senior managers and directors.


You can start this by sharing another one of my books, “Influence is Leadership – Become The Highly Effective Leader That Others Want To Follow”. This book will help you in developing your highly effective team players into leaders, and developing your highly effective leadership culture.

It will help your highly effective team players to influence others, gain more followers, gain buy-in from others within the team and beyond, and help them when influencing other leaders.

Influence is Leadership is the book that any level of an organisation can use to develop their leadership and practice the principles shared in it. This includes any apprentices or graduates you have in your organisation. Use this book for one of your book studies and invite more people from different levels.

You must try to develop leaders at every level of an organisation. First to lead themselves well, and then to lead others well.

When we develop our team of individuals into highly effective team players, and eventually into a highly effective team, should we stop there? NO!

We must continue to develop our highly effective team players into leaders who can lead themselves well, and eventually into highly effective leaders who can lead others well.

I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.

Check out my other articles by Clicking HERE

All the best,

Tom (LeadGrowInfluence)

10 thoughts on “From Team Player To Leader

  1. As far as influencing is concerned they should be able to dictate the morale of the people under them. An efficient leader can positively influence people below them.

    As a leader, you have to see people as people and not just a number on a spreadsheet. I literally emailed a company back the other day and told them I was tired of being treated like a number on a spreadsheet.

    I decided to promote their competitor’s affiliate program because the other company actually treated me like a real person.

    Leadership is getting the best out of people, period.

    1. Hi Garen,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on my article, really means a lot.

      I appreciate you sharing your experiences in working with different businesses. I hope people can relate to you as much as they can to me and learn from you.

      Keep working with great businesses and growing yourself and your own business. Keep inspiring your people through your leadership.

      All the best,


  2. I really enjoy all of your articles. They are so helpful and I especially enjoy this one on turning highly effective team players into leaders.

    1. Hi Alyse,

      I appreciate your comment, means the world.

      I am so pleased that you enjoy my articles and I hope you continue to enjoy my future articles too.

      Keep working yourself and becoming the leader you always wish you had.

      All the best,


  3. Wow! this is great information on leadership and the tools needed to be an effective leader. This is an area that personally struggle with because to be an effective leader it takes dedication and true commitment to leading others. Then there is the case of believing in and what the changes you you want to happen. Thank you very much it has inspired me to continue in my journey to becoming an effective leader.

    1. Hi Keith,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and that this is an area you struggle with.

      Leadership is very, very difficult and it is something that we all struggle with. We just have to ensure that we don’t use any mistakes or failures we make in our leadership as excuses to give up.

      Keep going and working on yourself every day to become the leader you always wish you had.

      All the best,


  4. Great article, having been a regional leader in the past and of course having been led myself, I have always felt it essential to be the beacon for the team. Whether by actions or decisions the leader should help create and foster that alignment.
    Personally, I can not work under a “boss” and refuse to be a “boss” to my team. Who I do follow however, and inspire to be is a “coach”, “leader”, “mentor”, etc.

    1. Hi Lee,

      I am so appreciative of your leadership style and traits that you share. Hopefully people who read this article can come across your comment and relate to you. They will then be able to learn from you just as much as they can learn from me.

      All the best,


  5. Hi Tom, I never really thought very much about the difference between a boss and a leader before but guess you are right a boss can be anybody that is left in a position of power other than you but a leader is someone that you will want to follow. It’s a good thing to think about in the future I think as I start looking to hire more. I haven’t really as it’s been a bit dead for me with traffic etc. and earnings – I think to pay and lead others to your business goals you must have the financial base but still, I will give this some thought moving forward.

    Best regards;


    1. Hi Alex,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on my article.

      I am like you, that years ago I didn’t realise there was a difference between a boss and a leader. But, when you actually experience being a boss/leader then it is up to you to understand the difference, and behave like the leader you always wish you had.

      Keep working on yourself and helping your people to do the same.

      All the best,


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