Leadership teams are critical to managing the complexity of today’s work and most leaders spend a great deal of time attending team meetings. There is a significant opportunity to enhance the effectiveness of these meetings. In my work over many years enhancing the performance of leadership teams I believe that effective and high performing leadership teams must have three core elements: clarity of role, mandate and purpose; operational excellence; and behaviours and habits that optimize team performance.
Creating Exceptional Leadership Teams is an interactive program to enhance the performance and value of intact leadership teams.
The following are the key elements:
1. Clarity of team role, mandate and purpose
Leadership teams have a unique value to the organization and exist to accomplish specific defined outcomes. Teams need to confirm their unique purpose including what the team needs to accomplish and what the organization is counting on the team to deliver. Clarifying team purpose also includes confirming the scope of priority issues that the team should be focusing on over the next six to twelve months.
2. Establish Operational Excellence
Once team role, mandate and purpose are confirmed the team needs to turn its’ attention to how it wants to operate. This includes clarifying the four basic agenda items for leadership team meetings as well as defining meeting operating principles including how decisions will be made. The four basic agenda items for leadership team meetings are:
- To share information on key issues, events, projects, etc.
- To provide input and advice related to individual areas of responsibility.
- To make decisions.
- To establish clear and aligned direction for the organization.
3. Supportive Behaviours and Relationships
Being an effective team member requires behavioural considerations that are often different than those typically employed being a leader of an organization. Leadership teams need to define how they will work together, how they will interact with one another and what behaviours will contribute to team performance and building trust. Building and ensuring trust on leadership teams is essential to success. It results in openness and honesty and leads to more effective decisions.
Prior to the sessions team members complete a Leadership Team Effectiveness Survey and are interviewed to determine the key issues facing the Leadership Team, what the team does well, how team performance could be improved and what the priority issues the team should be focused on. The results of the survey and interview are reviewed during the session.
About the Author: Rob Cooke is a leadership advisor, strategist and coach. Drawing on a strong background in business and organizational development, Rob utilizes his extensive consulting experience to help leaders address emerging challenges, seize opportunities and execute approaches to achieve personal, leadership and business goals.