How to Create a Coherent Leadership Team
Hope is not the only strategy for developing top teams - or any team come to think about it!
The reason I've chosen to write this article on Top Teams is that so many organisations are struggling to reach true potential because of an incoherent leadership team. Without an aligned team at the top, an organisation will never come near to reaching its full potential.
For an effective culture to be developed we need team members trusting each other and feel ok about being genuinely vulnerable with each other. Team meetings need to be productive with egos left at the door. Teams need to have rigorous conversations and make decisions based on what is best for the organisation, rather than just for the area they lead.
When developing leadership teams I ask the following seven questions:
- Has the leadership team been created and set up for success?
- Do you have a clear and agreed leadership team purpose separate to the organisational purpose?
- Do you know what motivates and demotivates other team members? Do you know how to get the best from each other?
- Do you know what success looks like for the team?
- Do you have a set of agreed principles of how you work together, and are they lived by all?
- Do you have agreed ways of working including the types of meetings you have?
- Do you know what you want to be famous for?
The answers to these questions will tell me if the team has been set up or not! And what I need to do to set the team up for success.
I then go onto exploring how the team operates.
It's great to do a team review using these questions:
- Does the team live its agreements and sustain high performance?
- Is it clear the leadership team makes decisions unselfishly and aligned to the company vision and values, or do they tend to make decisions based on self-interest and politics?
- Is the leadership team seen by the organisation as being aligned on Purpose, Strategy, Goals and Priorities?
- Is the team seen as an enabler to creating a high performance culture where success is inevitable?
- Is the team seen by the organisation to awaken possibility in others to deliver extraordinary results?
- Do senior team members automatically and consistently “assume best intentions” in one another, or do they “assume motives” in one another especially when they disagree?
- Do team members say what they are thinking? Do they openly discuss issues in meetings or do most “real” conversations take place after the meetings by the coffee machine or in corridors?
- Are the levels of conversations and dialogue deep enough or are they all surface level? Does everyone have a voice? Do you spend enough time evaluating and reflecting? Do leaders leave their ego at the door and are they in the room during meetings?
- Does the leadership team work together on real strategic problems/opportunities and create solutions or is it just operationally focussed? Is knowledge and expertise willingly shared in a non-hierarchical way?
- When a decision is made in the leadership team meeting, does everyone own the decision as theirs and fully support it outside the meeting room? Is there one voice?
- Do all leaders in the team consistently behave in an way that is aligned to the values of the organisation?
- Do leaders actively sponsor programmes and projects. Do they fully participate in initiatives or do they avoid them? Are they visible and seen to support and nurture success?
- Are leaders in your team acutely aware of the impact of their behaviour and the shadow they cast on the organisation?
- Does the leadership team review and learn effectively as a team? Is feedback freely given and received positively? Is there a continuous team improvement mindset?
- Does the leadership team actively support and encourage fitness, vitality, resiliency and health? Is wellness a buzz word or way of being?
Enjoy asking the questions and let me know how you get on. By the way these questions can be asked of any team!