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4 Keys to Selecting a Successful Leadership Team

Evelyn Wilson - Boys Town National Training

Group of teachers talking

What does it mean to “Select a Leadership Team?”  Are we looking for people who can lead others?  Or, are we looking for people who have demonstrated good leadership qualities?  Or do we want people with specific skill sets, talents or strengths?


According to James C. Hunter (The World’s Most Powerful Leadership Principle), leadership is defined as “…the skills of influencing people to enthusiastically work toward goals identified as being for the common good, with character that inspires confidence.”  These types of leaders are those that can influence their peers and inspire others towards the common vision.

Consider the following as you develop a leadership team.


  • Observe and select people who already demonstrate the ability to influence those around them.  Who are the people whose opinion is already valued among your staff?   People who demonstrate integrity and credibility.
  • Be sure all team members know the mission and direction of the team.  Communicate the leadership team’s expectations and the potential outcomes when the expectations are not upheld.  In other words, the leadership team must be held accountable in order to hold the people they are leading accountable. Prepare your team to give and receive feedback on a continual basis to promote communication between all members.  This will allow all to continue to grow and develop and positively influence each other as well as those they lead.  To help you set goals and communicate them to your team, read our blog post 5 Tips for Setting Goals & Achieving Success.
  • Remember, leadership skills can be taught, developed and continually improved upon over time (Hunter).  Plan to invest the time necessary to teach your leaders the required skills to lead others, give them opportunities to demonstrate or practice the skills and provide strategies to help them continue to evolve as leaders.  This might begin with foundational workshop type trainings, but should also include various ongoing, developmental training activities that include opportunities to demonstrate or apply what they are learning.  Create assessment tools to gauge their development.
  • Finally, select people who care about people – people who are willing to invest time in others.  Leaders who are capable of developing mutual respect and trust and who offer support, understanding and direction to help sustain staff through the difficult times.  This type of “social support” can act as a buffer against stress by helping decrease the severity of stressful events.  (Zastrow, 1984; Whittaker, Schinke, & Gilchrist, 1986 – from Boys Town’s Developing Staff Skills Supervision Manual)


With the right team, large change initiatives don’t have to be scary.  Set a goal, get your team in place, and get started on your schools transformation.  Learn more about how combing a strong leadership team with a consultation process can improve the culture of your school and help you accomplish your goals by attending our free webinar on coaching and consultation!

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