Team of Champions or a Champion Team? Leading Teams

  • Hans Westerbeek
  • Aaron Smith


The imperatives associated with leading sport teams have often been considered a metaphor for leading any team to success. Teams are commonplace in most organizations, precisely because the ability to leverage and mobilize the collective knowledge of employees has long been accepted as prudent management and sound leadership. The use of well-organized teams has been linked to improvements in business innovation, productivity and levels of customer service. This chapter therefore seeks to demonstrate the value and importance of effective team leadership, as illustrated by the plethora of sporting metaphors used to describe the process. It will also observe that while collective identification lies at the heart of team development, a critical fault of many team leadership approaches is their intentional or implicit advice to completely suppress individuality in favor of the collective. While the team is naturally more important than any individual, we shall point out the critical nature of the individual contribution in sport teams and the subtle but dynamic tension that exists between variables within the continuum spanning from the individual to the “groupthink” cult.


Team Member Sport Team Leadership Style Collective Identity Team Structure 
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Copyright information

© Hans Westerbeek and Aaron Smith 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Westerbeek
  • Aaron Smith

There are no affiliations available

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