Is Your Leadership Team Healthy?

March 14, 2018

4 Key Indicators Your Team is Aligned

In my last blog post, I discussed the many benefits of conducting an effective offsite strategy session. One of the key ones mentioned is the opportunity to build personal and professional bonds.

The team bonding element is so important, as it provides an opportunity for your team to challenge old patterns and create new ways of communicating and collaborating. This process can change your team’s entire dynamic, making it instrumental in strengthening the interpersonal trust of the entire team.

An In-Depth Examination of Your Team

Take a moment to reflect on your team’s dynamic. On a scale of 1 – 10, with 10 being the highest, how would you answer this question: “Is my leadership team healthy and aligned?” This endeavor will prove to be a worthwhile indicator of your team’s vitality and direction.

Between my experience as a CEO and those experiences gained by working with organizations as a consultant, below are four examples of why you would score a 9 or 10:

1) Respect for Each Other’s Differences

In a healthy dynamic, team members are conscientious of each other’s differences, priorities, and working styles. Have you implemented a tool that identifies everyone’s preferred way of thinking or behaving? An example of this would be something like a Meyer's Briggs personality assessment or The Big Five personality test. While these tests aren’t infallible, they can surface traits such as introverted versus extroverted.

2) Regular Planning Meetings

A well-aligned team meets often, preferably weekly, for a strategic thinking session. Your team needs to block off time to consider the bigger picture beyond the goals and objectives for this week, month, or even quarter. This session should be used to discuss big, far-reaching questions such as, “Where do you want to be in three years?” Or, “What is your sustainable competitive advantage?”

3) The Importance of Continuing Education

A team that scores high on this benchmark nearly always participates in some kind of ongoing executive education. As the great Mark Twain put it, “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” With so many resources at our fingertips - podcasts, audiobooks, conferences, YouTube, and more - there is no excuse to not make time for continued learning.

4) Great Teams Debate

A healthy team is able to engage in constructive discussions where all members feel comfortable voicing their views. This trust doesn’t simply happen by coincidence. For this to happen, it’s critical that the team establishes a conflict profile, laying out what is and is not acceptable conflict in debating important issues.

While this LIST is certainly not an exhaustive collection of the attributes that make up a healthy, well-aligned team, these four major indicators are ones I’ve seen over and over again in my work both as a CEO and executive coach. Do you need help pushing your team up the scale? Contact me today for a free initial consultation.