Are you a good team leader? (and why you may be better off alone)

Leading a team, you probably asked yourself at least once:

How much do I need my team to know?

It’s a tough question, I get that, especially because

  • If you don’t involve your team, you’ll be more efficient.
  • If you involve them, you might get to a better result.

Then again, you start thinking about it and notice there is a lot more to this situation… do you trust them? Are they competent enough? Do they want to be involved? Do I have time for this?

Most of the time you just pick a solution at random, which is fine! It will get you where you need to be, somehow.

You won’t however have the certainty of having been the best possible leader in that situation. So, what can you do?

There are three tools that can help you in this case, and in this article I will show you each one of them.

Start by asking yourself: what is important to you?

  • Is it your team’s MATURITY AND EXPERTISE?
  • Is it your team’s WILLINGNESS TO BE INVOLVED and your TRUST in them?
  • Is it a combination of pretty much EVERY SINGLE VARIABLE?

Luckily for you, there is a way to deal with each one of those.

Decision Making

Hersey Blanchard Model (maturity and expertise):


The Hershey Blanchard Model works in two ways:

  1. it tells you what type of leader you should be depending on your team’s maturity and expertise;
  2. it helps you support and grow your team in the best way – you can’t give full responsibility to a new hire or control every step your mid-manager takes.

So, before you decide what kind of a leader you are going to be with each one of your employees, ask yourself how strong the skills of your employees are, how confident they are in their knowledge and how willing they are to take on responsibility.

Here’s what you’d get:

Hersey Blanchard

As you can see your style needs to change depending on those variables. And again, this is not just a tool to decide whether you want to involve your team or not: it’s a way to help your team grow and be motivated over time. Precisely for this last reason, though, you need to make sure that you consistently apply it to everyone in your organisation, and not as a one-off thing.

By Tim Dorr:

Hoy Tarter Model (Team’s willingness to be involved and trust in the team’s goals)

hoy torter

The Hoy Tarter Model is based on your team’s maturity and personal stake in the decision. This links to the concept of the team’s Zone of Acceptance (ZA): being inside the ZA means that the team accepts being excluded from the decision, if the team doesn’t accept being excluded, you’ll consider them to be outside the Zone of Acceptance.

Whether they’re in or out will be determined by their expertise and personal stake:

Hoy Torter Model

Whenever you apply this model, you need to change your leadership style to be coherent with your team’s structure. Most importantly, whenever your team needs to be involved, you need to ask yourself whether you trust their goals are aligned with yours – remember that whenever they need to be involved they have a high personal stake in the decision, which doesn’t always mean they desire the best for the organisation.


At this point you’ll be one of four types of leaders, depending where you end up once you follow the decision tree above.

  1. Democratic: you are either an integrator or a parliamentarian, in the first case you bring together different points of view to achieve consensus, in the second you facilitate discussion to get to a majority vote.
  2. Conflictual / Stakeholder: you are an educator, you explain issues to make sure the team will accept decisions.
  3. Expert: you are a solicitor, you request advice to your team to improve the quality of the decision.
  4. Noncollaborative: you are a director, you take a decision on your own to maximise efficiency.


Budget and Financials

Vroom Yetton Jago (all variables, case-by-case basis)


The Vroom Yetton Jago Model is by far my favourite one of the three: it combines the power of the previous two in a simple 8-question list.

This means that it can be used on a case-by-case basis, and that it takes very little time to apply – perfect in a time-constrained business environment.

Whenever you’re not sure about your team’s involvement, just answer these questions:

Vroom Yetton Jago 1

And once you’re done, follow the path that your answers give:


Simple as that, you’ll adopt one of those decision making styles based on where you end up. No more no less.

Vroom Yetton Jago 2

I love the simplicity and brilliancy of this last model. Whereas the previous two require some sort of commitment, this does not. Unfortunately committing to anything in a time-constrained world is tough, and this makes applying anything that requires focus and attention difficult. The Vroom Jetton Yago model, instead, can be applied in one minute, and is just as good.

Now I want to turn it over to you.

What model will you be using next and why?

Hit me up in the comments with your thoughts right now.

Also, I’m describing each method, plus 38 more in my Decision-Making book.

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