Six Things Great Leadership Teams Do

Guest post
from regular contributor S. Chris Edmonds:

When I consult with executives on crafting a high performance,
values-aligned culture, one of the first things I do is to examine the
effectiveness of their leadership team.

Whatever that team is called – an executive team, a leadership team, a management
team, etc. – that core team must model, reinforce, coach, and drive their
desired culture. They must act with one mind, one heart, and one voice to
create an engaging, productive work environment.

Most leadership teams I observe are not teams at all. Most are groups
whose members focus on their functional team’s needs, not the organization’s
needs! Members of the leadership group battle their peers daily for limited
funds, resources, and people, day in and day out.

That’s no way to create a high performing, values-aligned organization.

Over my 25 years of coaching executives and leadership teams, I’ve found
six consistent things that effective, inspiring leadership teams do. They

1. Purpose

Do leadership team members move beyond their functional duties and
embrace leadership team membership as a separate and equally important role? Do
they act as committed, responsive members of the executive team to present a
united voice on how the organization operates, not just how it performs? Do they
willingly engage with their team peers in strategic discussions and plan how to
inspire aligned behavior across the company’s leaders and associates?

2. Engagement
Do they set aside their functional activities so they are fully
present for their leadership team conversations? Do they inform their staff
that they are not to be interrupted during the team meetings with functional
activities and issues? Do they set aside their smartphones, tablets, laptops,
and spreadsheets and focus fully on the discussion “in the moment”?

3. Validation

Do they validate peers’ ideas, efforts, and accomplishments frequently?
Do they pay attention to the nuances of the discussions – and dig deeper when a
potential issue is raised? Do they ask everyone to participate so quieter members
are given the floor to provide their comments, insights, or questions?

4. Shared

Who facilitates the team’s discussions? Who drives for decisions to be
made? If all members are comfortable doing that, it’s a clear indication of
trust, respect, and validation.

5. Consensus

Do discussions end with members proactively summarizing options, making
recommendations, and end with a clear, mutual, firm decision or action being
made? If consensus is not being reached, do all members engage in the
discussion to reach consensus quickly?

6. Aligned

Is there clear agreement by everyone on what the decision is and what
that decision will require of team members? Do members volunteer to take
responsibility? Do members challenge each other to greater targets and
challenge each other when a member doesn’t do what they said they would do?

When leadership teams demonstrate these approaches consistently, the team
is able to gather relevant data, decide confidently, communicate effectively,
and hold each other accountable for team responsibilities.

Only when a leadership team acts with one mind, one heart, and one voice
will they effectively inspire their organization to top performance,
cooperative interaction, and inspired service.

How well does your leadership team model these factors? Add your thoughts
in the comments section below.

S. Chris
 is a sought-after speaker, author, and executive consultant. He’s
the CEO of 
The Purposeful Culture Group. After a 15-year career leading and
managing teams, Chris began his consulting company in 1990. Since 1995, Chris
has also served as a senior consultant with The Ken Blanchard Companies. He is
the author or co-author of seven books, including Amazon best sellers
The Culture Engine
and Leading At A Higher Level with Ken Blanchard. His blog posts,
podcasts, assessments, research, and videos can be found at