Is team leadership actually important to team success?

Po Bronson—The New York Times best-selling author of Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing—is a big fan of using small teams to tackle big projects. “We have this idea that a team should have a lot of voices on it. And that doesn’t really work,” Bronson writes. “Teams should be as small as possible to get the job done.”

But surely the smaller the team, the more critical the role of the team leader, right? Wrong. According to Bronson, “Today’s intrinsically motivated, self-driven knowledge worker doesn’t need to be looked after all the time. On average, the most effective balance is intermittent monitoring. If you watch over someone’s shoulder all the time, they’re just going to feel like they’re being bossed around.”