If you are thinking through responses to leadership and teamwork questions, the starting point should be knowing the differences between both. At its core, to McKinsey especially, leadership is about influencing a group people to undertake and complete an initiative of importance. Yet, a better definition is that as the leader you tend to be the primary beneficiary of what is happening since you get the credit. As a great team member, you do much of the work but you do not get the great. Ensure your teamwork and leadership stories cover this crucial distinction.

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3 responses to Leadership versus Teamwork Answers

  1. Hi Michael,

    Thank you for the explanation. If it’s not just about leading a big group solving a predefined problem then it’s easier to find examples. Thanks.

    Best,

    Hannah

  2. Hi Hannah,

    Yes, in consulting we ALWAYS look for how you influenced someone who disagreed with you. That is our main definition.

    I would say even if you worked alone, you need to get others to agree to your viewpoint, so you can use these examples. Go broad like the roles you had editing a journal, leading a club, convincing a supervisor to change his mind etc.

    There are many, many examples you can find. Alice in Season 2 presents some very good examples with lots of details. The same with Felix in Season 1.

    Hope this helps.

    Michael

  3. Hi Michael,

    Very good distinction, thank you.

    Comment: here you made a key point about being a great team member, or one that influences the group. I incorrectly thought that teamwork example could be any examples when you work with other, oops.

    Question: for PhD applicants, what are good examples of leadership/teamwork (since we usually work by ourselves and only on scientific problems)?

    Thank you.

    Best,

    Hannah

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