If you want to be an effective team leader, Patricia Lotich, founder of the consulting company Smart Church Management, has some advice.

Lotich, who has an MBA and is a Certified Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence through the American Society for Quality, says there are six skills you need to work on and 11 responsibilities you need to be willing to assume.

The six skills she identifies are:

  • teacher;
  • big picture thinker;
  • coach;
  • negotiator;
  • communicator; and,
  • conflict resolver.

The 11 responsibilities she lists are:

  1. Works with leadership on development of team charter, goals and team expectations.
  2. Negotiates with leadership to gain high level commitment for necessary team resources.
  3. Establishes goals, objectives and target deadlines for team.
  4. Establishes and gains consensus on team ground rules.
  5. Encourages fair play with team rules and ensures all team members are held accountable for their actions.
  6. Communicates expectations of the team and the importance of completing team assignments on time.
  7. Ensures team establishes measurable goals.
  8. Takes proactive steps in eliminating team members who do not adhere to team rules.
  9. Helps the team with conflict resolution and educates them on how to constructively solve problems.
  10. Reviews and monitors team progress toward goals.
  11. Ensures team celebrates successes.

If trying to accomplish all of these things sounds like an overwhelming burden to you, maybe you should focus on being a good team member for now – and making each of these responsibilities a bit easier for your team leader.

But if they sound like a list of challenges you’d like to take on and grow into, by all means get started.

Remember, leadership always begins on the inside – and effective leadership is always more about relationships than it is about structure. Don’t wait for a promotion to team leader before you start to develop the skills and assume some responsibilities.

If you wait that long, when your opportunity comes, it will probably be too late to do you – or your team members – any good.