A team leader’s work is varied and complex placing the necessity for them to be equipped with set of skills that will enable them become effective leaders. According to Bergman et al. (2006) leaders require technical, conceptual and human competencies. Technical skills are used for specialized knowledge that is required for work. Conceptual skills require one to be able to analyze complex situation while human competencies are similar to interpersonal skills needed for communication, mentorship, motivation and delegation. The basic roles of a leader involve coordination and interaction with employees in the team, sharing and analyzing information and decision-making roles. This is especially so because leader are supposed to have good management skills  to influence others while at the same time managing situations by giving guidance where necessary.

Question One

Bill was a well educated person and has many skills to complement his hard work. Among the leadership skills possessed by Bill include:

Technical skills

Depending on his line of profession, Bill was well versed with appropriate technical skills in Internet service provider (ISP). He had acquired these skills through knowledge acquired in his studies and experience. These skills can also be acquired through personal and professional development which made Bill a qualified leader for the technical support team.

Interpersonal skills

These skills are the ability of the leader to communicate and understand other people. Even when a leader has high technical skills, if they cannot learn from others or communicate effectively with others so as to increase the motivation of others in the work place, then they are poor communicators. Bill had worked hard to acquire the interpersonal skills that enabled him to communicate well with customers.

Diagnostic and analytical skills

These skills rely on the ability to observe the current situation and understanding the cause and effect relationship causing success or failure. The leaders are then supposed to come up with solutions to correct the situation if the current situation causes failure. It is the ability to assess a situation to know that a problem exists, get to the root cause of the problem then make judgment on how the situation is going to be corrected that makes a person a great leader which can make or break a company. Bill possessed this skill as he was able to realize that there was a problem in how the employees in the technical department were working and that the motivation to work was not there. He came up with problems that were making them lag behind to be caused by their reluctance to obey him as the new leader and never took what he said to be serious.

Time management skills

It is the ability of a leader to prioritize work, work efficiently and delegate appropriately. Leaders face a lot of pressure and will often be distracted by things that require immediate action such that the manager may be forced to delegate work to others or postpone. Bill ensures that he has a clear routine for the others to follow so that work will be done effectively and no area would lag behind.

Question Two

Bureaucratic inertia

This is whereby things in an organization are done in a particular way and people find it hard to see another way through which things can be done (Davidson et al, 2009). The people at ISP were used to the previous leadership and the way of doing things and so they did not see the need to change how they worked. This is the reason why Bill was met with hostility when he tried to implement some of the changes he had come up with.

Peer pressure

Other people who do not want change for various reasons will try to influence others into refusing the change too so that the changes will be viewed unnecessary and to have resulted into more problems instead of improving things (Davidson et al, 2009). In ISP, the technical support staff had strong friendship relationship among them and so it became easy for others to influence the rest to resist changes that Bill was trying to effect. This was so bad that they even influenced new comers into change resistance such that Bill had no authority because the new employees switched shifts or left early.

Different perceptions

At times people resist changes because they think that the leader is wrong in proposing certain ways of doing things (Davidson et al, 2009). They have other ideas as to how things are supposed to be done and so they often resist any other suggestion apart from theirs derailing the process of change implementation. It may be possible that some of the employees at ISP had differing assessment as to what needed to be changed and so they did not like the changes being proposed by Bill.

Question Three

There are some powers that bill cannot use and should use.

Reward power

This is the power to withhold rewards or give rewards (Buchanan & Huczynski, 2002). The rewards include bonuses, praise, recognition and promotion recommendation. The greater the amount of rewards the leader controls the greater the power of reward. Bill however doe not have this power because he cannot withdraw break hours of the employees due to their reluctance to obey his authority or do their work accordingly. He could not delay their pay or make them work overtime as a punishment.

Coercive power

This is a form of power that forces employees to comply through psychological, emotional and physical threat by the leader. This is in form of verbal reprimands, termination of contracts or written reprimands in attempts to manipulate the employees. This kind of power may lead to resistance among the employees to the organization that tolerates the leader in that position (Buchanan & Huczynski, 2002). Bill should not use such powers to make the employees work because it will make him loose the close friendship ties he had with workers which may have an effect on overall work performance. Also use of this power shows that a person is not a good leader and the only way he can make people work is through using coercion instead of positive influence.

However there are some powers that Bill can draw on to make the employees comply to his leadership.

Legitimate power

This is the power given to a person through organizational hierarchy. This is given to people working in particular positions that are defined by the organization (Buchanan & Huczynski, 2002). As a leader, Bill has the power to assign duties to the employees in the technical support team because he has been given the power by the organization through the action of promotion to the position of team leader. Using this power he can make a legitimate request to the workers to comply because they know that the team leader position has the power from the organization.

Referent power

This is the kind of power that is based on identification, imitation, loyalty or charisma (Buchanan & Huczynski, 2002). Referent power results when those being led can identify with the leader in personality or background. The workers in the technical support team can easily identify with Bill because he was a technician who became the first to rise to rank of leadership. He can use this fact to influence other technicians to work hard as he had so that they too can gain from their hard work and be promoted. This can be through inducing workers to do things with higher values and ideals through the use of personal identification tactics of leadership.

Expert power

It is the power associated with expertise (Buchanan & Huczynski, 2002). It is especially so if the person who is a leader knows more than his subordinates and so they have to rely on him for guidance. Bill was sued to handling hard tasks that other avoided and he was always called upon to do the difficult tasks. He also did his tasks fast with very few mistakes and indication that he has more knowledge of being a technician than his fellow technicians. Bill can thus exploit this to persuade employees to be work harder wh8ile acting like a motivator.

Question four

Contingency theories

These theories focus on the variables related to the environment that will determine which leadership style is suited for the situation. It states that no leadership style is best in all situations and that success depends on a number of variables like the aspects of the situation, leadership style and quality of followers. Bill can make use of this leadership theory to emerge a great leader in this situation where employees fail to obey his authority. He needs to use a leadership style that will solve the problem while at the same time ensuring that he maintains close ties with the employees but still remain the leader.

Situational theories

The theories propose that depending on the situation, leaders choose the best course of action. Different leadership styles are more appropriate for certain types of decision-making. For example some situations demand autocratic leadership style while some require collaborative means of leadership. In this situation, it is important that Bill shows and applies his authority as the team leader to get the team working because if he does not exercise this authority, the situation may get out of control which will be detrimental to the performance of the whole organization.

Participative theories

They propose that ideal leadership is the one that puts into account input by others. The leader encourages participation and contribution of others in the group so that group members feel relevant and committed to the decision-making process. However, the leader attains the right to allow others to input their ideas. This theory will be useful for Bill when he asks the team members what they really want because their performance and motivation are decreasing. This will help get to the root cause of the kind of behavior being exhibited by the employees. It will also motivate the employees because they will feel valued. They will feel important part of bringing change to the team which everyone will be comfortable with. However, Bill cannot implement everyone’s idea and he has to choose which one to incorporate into his plans which will enable him to retain his authority as the leader over the team.

Relationship theories

They are also referred to as transformational theories giving focus on the relationship between the leader and the followers. The leader in this theory inspires and motivates others so that they can see the importance of the task. They are focused on the group members’ performance wanting each one of them to fulfill their potential. Bill is supposed to show good leadership qualities by acting morally and ethically in encouraging members of his team to perform well for the sake of their careers. If they give more efforts into their works, they will be able to distinguish themselves from other competitors giving them an edge in the job market when they choose to quit from the company.



Leadership is all about being able to influence others to comply and do what they are supposed to do. A good leader is the one who is able to direct events smoothly to cause maximum benefits. For one to be a good leader there are some skills and level of knowledge that one must have like good communication skills so that one is able to communicate eloquently about what needs to be done. Bringing about change in an organization is hard because people will naturally oppose change which is manifested by the way they conduct their work. Leaders have various sources of power at their disposal but it is upon the leader to choose which powers to use and when to use them.


Buchanan, D and Huczynski, A. (2002). Organizational Behavior. Prentice Hall, London

Davidson, P. Simon, A. Woods, P & Griffin, R.W. 2009, Management: Core concepts and applications, 2nd edition, Wiley, Brisbane.

Robbins, S., Bergman R., Stagg, I. and Coulter, M. 2006. Management. Prentice Hall, Sydney


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