Three "I"s for Team Leadership


You need more than your own two eyes to be great.In fact, there are three very important “I”s that are required for successful Team Leadership.

Think of them as three dots that need connecting.

Connecting the Dots

If, as a leader, you can connect these three dots, then your team will have a much greater chance of achieving their goal – and enjoying the experiences along the way!

If you are a team leader, ask yourself this:

On a scale of 1-10, where would I rate myself on the following three traits?

Ready?  Here we go…

The Three “I’s for Team Leadership

The first “I” is Integrity

Great leadership exhibits high character.  Instead of only expecting it from those around you, a great team leader will be an example of integrity – and will make the difficult choice and do the right thing EVEN when it is inconvenient… because that is what will inspire your people to do the same when they are in a similar situation.

The second “I” is Involvement

Great team leaders are involved with the lives of their people.  They know the staff’s families and their desires and their strengths and their challenges.  Team motivation is only possible when you become aware of the needs and desires of the people a leader is working with. 

The more leaders and teammates know, the more able they are to help others achieve the goals they have for themselves.  And that is what real leadership is about – serving others and helping them to succeed.

The final “I” required for successful team leadership is Instruction

If you have the right people with the right values on your bus, and you care about them, you will find opportunities for them to add skills and talents and increase their value. 

Most every team will disintegrate after the season is over, or when the project is complete… and when that time comes, it is your job as a leader to send your people away with more skills – interpersonal and technical – than they had when they arrived.

Adding It Up

If you can truly say that you have scored a nine or ten in each of these areas with all of your people, then your team will soon be a powerful force.  Not only that, but they will enjoy being around and supporting each other along the way.

If you rated yourself lower than a seven and are having trouble with any of these areas, consider a day of corporate, athletic or teacher team building activities.

Sooner or later, most managers become aware of the fact that it is always the soft stuff that if really the hard stuff – and the interpersonal relationships and investment in becoming more involved in their lives and inspiring them to do the same for each other is always a challenge.

As a team building speaker and event facilitator, I am confident that you will benefit from an investment of time and resources to make sure that the three “I”s mentioned is given proper attention.

So, what sort of teambuilding has your team done? Did it truly help, or was it just a band-aid for deeper issues? How can you incorporate the three “I”s into your team to help build better results? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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Sean Glaze
Sean Glaze
is Speaker, Author, Coach, and Facilitator at Great Results Teambuilding
He delivers Engaging Events that Transform Laughter into Lessons
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L2L Contributing Author


  1. Bill Benoist on August 8, 2013 at 10:07 am

    One of the great things about your model is that it works with a remote, virtual team. Your three “I”s are strong points for me and for the past four years, my team of 10 help desk technicians and an IS Trainer have worked from home, supporting 2500 users via telephone and remote desktop access. I’m extremely proud of my group – customer service index surveys are at the highest and they are often recognized for above and beyond service. Thanks for a great post!

  2. Team Building Coach (@leadyourteam) on August 8, 2013 at 11:48 am


    Thanks so much for your comment. Virtual teams are always a challenge, but as you mentioned, the same elements still apply to promoting a positive experience for your team… Congrats on the success that you and your technicians have created!

  3. Larry Walker on August 8, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Excellent, practical ideas that deserve attention from all leaders. Would there even be a 4th “I” — Integration? Integration would mean incorporating the other 3 “I” so they become an inherent component of your interaction with your team.

    • Sean Glaze on August 10, 2013 at 8:32 am

      Hi Larry-

      Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, I think that “integration” or “interaction” would be nice complementary “I’s” as well…

      The key, I believe is the second “I,” Involvement. As leaders, we usually spend much more time on establishing our integrity and building quality reputations – and we certainly see the need to instruct and share content and skills with our people… BUT, it is our involvement that is vital to creating a supportive and cohesive culture.