Leadership has become a team sport. Leadership teams have become critical to managing the complexity of today’s work and they need to achieve much more and generate new thinking that is greater than individual leaders could achieve on their own. Great leadership teams, however, do not happen by accident and team members need to allocate time and energy to increasing alignment across team members, improving communication, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of meetings, and building inter-personal trust. I facilitate powerful team sessions during which team members are challenged to enhance their effectiveness and performance as a team.
Effective, high performing leadership teams have clarity of purpose, operational excellence and behaviours and relationships that optimize team performance. The Enhancing Leadership Team Performance sessions focus on these three key elements:
- Clarity of Team Purpose and Focus
Leadership teams have a unique value to the organization and exist to accomplish specific defined outcomes. Teams must 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 business issues that the team should be focusing on over the short term.
- Operational Excellence
Once team purpose and focus are confirmed the team needs to turn its’ attention to how it wants to operate. This will include clarifying the four basic agenda items for leadership team meetings as well as defining meeting operating principles including how decisions will be made. The basic agenda items for leadership team meetings are:
A. To share information on key issues, events, projects, etc.
B. To request input and advice related to individual areas of responsibility
C. To make decisions related to areas of joint accountability
D. To establish clear and aligned direction for the organization
Additional operational issues include meeting frequency, timing and structure, decision making process, role of substitutes, etc
- Supportive Behaviour 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. Trust is also essential for managing positive team conflict.The benefits of the Enhancing Leadership Team Performance sessions are:
- Leadership teams will be clear on their purpose: why they were established and what is expected of them as a team.
- Leadership teams will become more effective and efficient by implementing best practices for operational excellence including clearly structured meeting agendas, operating principles and decision-making processes.
- Leadership team members will learn to recognize behaviours that can contribute to and detract from team performance and they will build enhanced relationships with each other.