Some leaders shine because they are effective team builders, rather than solitary stars. They are silent catalysts who propel their teams to success. A new book, The Catalyst Effect: 12 Skills and Behaviors to Boost Your Impact and Elevate Team Performance, looks into what makes them tick, and what others could learn from them. Knowledge@Wharton spoke with two of the book’s coauthors: Jerry Toomer, who is an executive partner at Butler University’s Lacy School of Business and an adjunct professor in its MBA program; and Craig Caldwell, associate dean for graduate and professional programs at the school. (Steve Weitzenkorn and Chelsea Clark are the book’s other two co-authors.)
Leaders must bring humility and sometimes follow, while others on the team must first earn credibility and trust before they pursue their own leadership desires, say Toomer and Caldwell. In their book, they focus on 12 competencies that leaders use to elevate their teams, with illustrations including the “no-stats all-star” basketball player Shane Battier and Sandeep Das, who plays the tabla, a percussion instrument, with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.