5 Ways to Build an Effective Leadership Team
As a leader, building a high performing team of talented individuals can be quite challenging. But what’s more challenging than that is building a high performing leadership team. A leadership team comprises of not only highly talented and skilled individuals, but mainly well established and accomplished thinkers, leaders and influencers. What you can expect is a table of egos that’s struggling to develop the necessary synergies to help the organization succeed. In fact, the resultant of constant bickering and random skirmishes will be no less than catastrophic for the organization.
You must be wondering if it’s so destructive, why build a high performing leadership team in the first place, right? Well, if you’re able to do it correctly, such a team can be a vital catalyst boosting an organization’s ability to be innovative, creative and a unique competitor in the industry. However, to do this you need to avoid these common mistakes leaders make when forming a high performing leadership team. Here are a few tips that can help you build a stronger and effective leadership team.
1. Selection Criteria
Most leadership team members are selected based on their individual leadership skills, their professional competencies or their achievements. While these parameters are great identifiers of individual ability and performance, they don’t speak much about their ability to perform in a team. What often occurs is that the leadership team (being so accomplished) tunes out to suggestions and ideas from anyone else, because they feel they’re too competent to hear any other views. To build an effective leadership team you’ll need to assess its members based on their ability to be constructive team players and how their leadership style compliments others in the team.
2. Make it a “Real” Team
Quite often leadership teams aren’t recognized as a serious and “real” team because most members are chosen based on the CEO’s preference (i.e. political reasons), or because they’ve been with the organization for so long that they fall into it. The problem isn’t the leadership team, but the main ideology behind it. If CEOs are simply going to induct anyone into the team – even if they don’t really belong in it – then you’re going to end up diluting its purpose. Unfortunately, that’s what some CEOs do to avoid confrontation. Alternatively, if you were to develop a leadership team with members who really should be there, who’re motivated, skilled and will add value then you’re going to have a powerful team working for you.
3. Define the Purpose
Leadership teams often get caught up with operational concerns that take up most of their time and effort. It’s great to resolve real-life and current problems, no doubt, however, this really is just firefighting. To really add value and be an effective leadership team you need to step away from operational matters and look at things more strategically – the bigger picture! Discussions should revolve around the overall objective, the purpose of the organization and how you are aiming to achieve it, the development of capacity, innovative and all those meaningful hard discussions that build a stronger, sustainable future for the organization. Think big – after all, this is the leadership team!
4. Represent Your Organization
Most leadership teams comprise of functional heads who bring to the table expertise and knowledge of their domain. While you’re no doubt knowledgeable in your domain (and no one’s challenging that) remember why you’re part of this team. And that’s to help the organization achieve even more success. By simply representing your function alone you’re restricting your contributions and vision. As leaders, you’re main role is to lead and make the best decisions for the entire organization and not just your function alone.
A healthy and harmonious relationship between all members of the leadership team is vital for its success and effectiveness. This is probably the most important aspect that many CEOs overlook. I’m not suggesting that everyone’s agreeing with each other and there’s no conflict. To produce excellence you need healthy and constructive conflict. However, it’s important that members of the team are aligned to a common ideology and purpose. That’s where the CEO needs to play their role as the bridge that connects people of different thoughts. You’ll need to invest time and effort in your members and guide them to be exceptionally good.
Building a leadership team for the sake of it is easy. However, building a high performing, effective and exceptional leadership team takes effort and commitment. The results of such a team, of course, are beyond beneficial for the organization and its employees.
Like what you read? Subscribe to the Keijzer Community and get updates to your inbox. You’ll also get a free download which will help you take your leadership teams through a growth model which will help them mature on a personal and professional level.