In this task I will describe the role of a team leader, including the responsibilities they have and the skills and qualities needed. I will also consider the Uniformed Public Services find it necessary to work in teams giving examples. Some people make better leaders than others, however, as long as someone is interested and willing, with an idea of how to communicate well, understand the needs of others, offer support and be flexible, then they have the basics to develop their leadership skills.
One example of a leader position within a uniformed public service is that of a Commanding Officer (CO). The CO is the officer in command of a military unit, post, cam, base or station. He or she has authority over the unit and is given legal powers, within the bounds of military law, to discipline and punish certain behaviour. A CO has a range of significant responsibilities with regard to the allocation of service personnel, finances and equipment.
They are accountable to the higher ranks and have a legal duty of care to the team. COs are highly valued and progression within the service is awarded to the best officers who have worked their way up the ranks. There are many functions of a team leader. These range from helping the team to decide how roles and responsibilities will be divided amongst its members to helping to coordinate the task and resolving interpersonal conflicts. Another key skill a leader must have is the ability to motivate their team.
Motivation is the drive to successfully reach a goal or aim, a leader must help their team to be motivated or complete the task they have been set. If a leader cannot motivate their team then it is less likely the team will be successful. For example in a mountain rescue scenario the physical conditions may be very difficult to deal with, severe cold and poor weather might sap the team's energy and they may become demotivated. The job of the team leader is to find strategies to keep them motivated and committed until the missing person is located.