Discussion: Two Heads Are Better Than One—Team Leadership in Public Health

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Week 10: Team and Servant Leadership

There is a common expression in sports, “while individuals may play the game, a team wins a championship.” This expression not only applies to teams in sports, but many businesses as well. It is through the collaborative efforts of a team, that individual talent becomes collective excellence. The benefit of teamwork is immeasurable. With teams, individuals come together to support one another. Likewise, servant leadership offers a similar leadership perspective with supportive relationships and environments. Although servant leadership and team leadership have their differences, both focus on joint participation toward improvements within leadership settings.

This week, you explore leadership perspectives related to team and servant leadership. You examine how both theories of leadership provide collaboration between a leader and his or her followers and consider how a leader’s effectiveness relates to the group’s reliance on one another for success.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze challenges related to team leadership
  • Evaluate team leadership
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of servant leadership
  • Apply insights related to effective leadership and servant leadership

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Nahavandi, A. (2014).
The art and science of leadership (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

  • Chapter 6, “Current Era in Leadership”
  • Chapter 8, “Leading Teams”

Anonson, J. M. S., Ferguson, L., Macdonald, M. B., Murray, B. L., Fowler-Kerry, S., & Bally, J. M. G. (2009). The anatomy of interprofessional leadership: An investigation of leadership behaviors in team-based health care. Journal of Leadership Studies, 3(3), 17-25.

Ilgen, D. R., Hollenbeck, J. R., Johnson, M., & Jundt, D. (2005). Teams in organizations: From input-process-output models to IMOI models. Annual Review of Psychology, 56(1), 517-543.

van Dierendonck, D. (2011). Servant leadership: A review and synthesis. Journal of Management, 37(4), 1228-1261.

Optional Resources

Harvard Business Review. (2011).
Leading collaborative groups [Video file]. Retrieved from

In order to effectively function as a team, leaders need to come together and think as a team. For many collaborative leadership teams, this may be a challenge to overcome. As you have learned in this course, often certain qualities or skills separate leaders from a collective group. As a result, leaders take the initiative to enact policies for change. Ironically, when functioning as a team, individualized leadership characteristics and skills are deferred for team decision making and group-identified goals. While team leadership presents benefits in leading an organization, notable challenges also exist within the theory.

For this Discussion, consider some of the unique characteristics of team leadership. Using the Learning Resources, reflect on the challenges associated with team leadership and consider whether or not team leadership may actually exist within organizations.

Post a description of team leadership and its characteristics. Then, describe two challenges teams may face when leading an organization. Finally, explain whether team leadership is an effective approach. Justify your response.

Discussion: Two Heads Are Better Than One—Team Leadership in Public Health

In order to effectively function as a team, leaders need to come together and think as a team. For many collaborative leadership teams, this may be a challenge to overcome. As you have learned in this course, often certain qualities or skills separate leaders from a collective group. As a result, leaders take the initiative to enact policies for change. Ironically, when functioning as a team, individualized leadership characteristics and skills are deferred for team decision making and group-identified goals. While team leadership presents benefits in leading an organization, notable challenges also exist within the theory.

For this Discussion, consider some of the unique characteristics of team leadership. Using the Learning Resources, reflect on the challenges associated with team leadership and consider whether or not team leadership may actually exist within organizations.

Post a description of team leadership and its characteristics. Then, describe two challenges teams may face when leading an organization. Finally, explain whether team leadership is an effective approach. Justify your response.

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