Teamwork and Leadership

The concepts of teamwork and leadership both refer to particular ways people relate to one another, often in the workplace but also in academic or volunteer settings. People can make work an exciting, fun, and productive place to be, or they can make it a routine, boring, and ineffective place where everyone dreads to go. Steve Jobs, cofounder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. attributes the innovations at Apple, which include the iPod, MacBook, and iPhone, to people, noting, "Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have.…It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it" (Kirkpatrick, 1998, p. 90).

While there is much research on how to help teams perform well and how leaders can be more effective, the people in many organizations do not put this knowledge into practice. This research provides answers for the following questions any leader or teammember should be thinking about. As a member of a team, what does it mean to cooperate and communicate openly? As a leader, how does one motivate their people? When should leaders empower workers and when should they dictate? After all, the teams and leaders must have a shared vision that they are working towards. But how can leaders effectively share their vision? Or how do they adapt their vision when faced with new data, particularly from within the organization?


Kirkpatrick, D. (1998). The second coming of Apple. Fortune, 138: 90. Retrieved from