10 Biggest Challenges in Leading Teams

From the outside looking in, leading a team can seem easy.

The reality is often very different. While leading a team is hugely rewarding, there are many challenges too. Research over the past 15 years has shown that roughly 40% of newly hired or promoted managers fail. So, what are the significant challenges you need to overcome to be a successful team leader?

1. Have A Clear Vision of What You Want To Achieve

You need to get really clear about what it is you want to achieve during your time in your leadership role. It is tough to gain clarity, but necessary if you’re going to achieve greatness as a team leader.

2. Win Hearts and Minds

To be a leader, you need people to follow you. That is often easier said than done. Winning hearts and minds is tricky, but it’s not impossible.

3. Responding To Different Agendas

Everyone is different, and everyone wants different things from their job and their leader. Responding to these different demands and agendas is tough, but rewarding if you can get it right.

4. Handling Resistance

Resistance from direct reports is an inevitable part of being a leader. No change will suit everyone. No one is going to be 100% happy with their allocated tasks. And not everyone will get along. Don’t take it personally, and patiently stand your ground.

5. Keeping People Motivated and Engaged

Employee disengagement is bad for business. Therefore, don’t underestimate the importance of keeping your staff motivated and engaged. The best way to do this is to lead by example.

6. Handling Negativity

Negativity spreads like a virus, and it is crucial you stop it in its tracks when you can. This means keeping an eye and ear out for it, and acting on it quickly.

7. Impatience

With so much on your plate as a leader, it is tempting to want to clear tasks quickly. But the reality is that anything worthwhile takes time to achieve.

8. Retaining Personal Positivity

As a leader, you are continually ensuring your team members remain positive and motivated. However, you also need to ensure that you retain your own personal positivity.

9. Getting The Balance Right

There is a fine line between pushing people too hard and not hard enough. But if you can get the balance right then you’re winning.

10. The High Jump Factor

Once you achieve anything, don’t think you can rest. You’ll soon find the bar is raised and you’re expected to up your game.


Leaders can sometimes feel overwhelmed by these challenges, but take heart in the fact that you’re not alone. And by being aware of these challenges, you can put your best foot forward in dealing with them.



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Odyssey Training’s mission is to help emerging and frontline managers achieve positive, long-term behavioural change for themselves and their teams.
We achieve this through practical high-quality leadership programs, self-directed action planning and embedded learning support.  Discover our 1-day Leading Teams course. Learn how to apply the six different leadership styles depending on the situation, and how to successfully navigate your team through the different stages of team formation. In understanding the different facets of team leadership, you will learn to build a cohesive and high performing team which can work together to resolve challenges and conflicts.