Quarter 4 / Lesson 1

8th Grade - Quarter 4 / Lesson 1
Character Focus – Leadership
We have defined a healthy team as follows:
1. They trust one another.
2. They have healthy conflicts.
3. They commit to decisions and plans of action.
4. They hold one another accountable for those plans.
5. They focus on results.
Leadership on a healthy team requires a person to play a key role in each of the five areas listed above.
First, the most important action a leader must take is to show vulnerability. This requires that a leader
risk losing face in front of the team, so that the team will take the same risks themselves. You must
know your weaknesses and failures won’t be used against you on your team.
Second, and maybe the most difficult challenge by far, is promoting healthy conflict. There will always
be a desire to protect teammates. If a leader steps in too soon, teammates don’t have the chance to
develop coping skills for dealing with conflict themselves. Modeling appropriate healthy conflict skills
is essential for leaders.
Next, leaders must be comfortable with the possibility of making a decision that turns out to be wrong.
(vulnerability) The leader must be constantly pushing the team to stay on task and stick to the plans.
Another difficult challenge for leaders is to instill accountability on the team. The leader should
encourage and allow the team to hold itself accountable. If the leader is the only one holding people
accountable, then others hold back even when they see something that isn’t right. The leader must
establish that it is everyone on the teams responsibility to hold each other accountable and that the leader
will not hesitate to step in when it is necessary.
The leader sets the tone for a focus on results. If a team senses that the leader values anything other than
results, they will take that as permission to do the same for themselves. Team leaders must be selfless
and objective. Leaders should save recognition for those who make real contributions to the
achievement of team goals.
1. How have we defined a healthy team?
2. Trust can be developed by a leader by showing vulnerability. What does that mean?
3. What should a leader do and not do when trying to promote healthy conflicts on a team?
4. What is a leader’s main focus when it comes to the plans of a team?
5. Describe a leader’s job when it comes to accountability.
6. Describe a leader’s job when it comes to focusing on results.
7. Ask two different adults in your life the top 3 things they think are the most important in leaders.
(include names of those asked and their responses)