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Insights

Foundation for Motivating a Successful Leadership Team

Monday, September 10, 2018
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Building high levels of business performance, driving strong company growth, and achieving valued organizational outcomes are all based on the dynamics of an in-sync leadership group and respectful team collaboration. Addressing business challenges successfully is based on personal team connections as driven by the three Es: enthusiasm, effectiveness, and engagement. There must always be an open sharing of ideas and thoughts, along with a strong willingness to authentically take risks together. The team must develop a desire to tackle problems and to find new approaches to difficult situations. Each team member may have different levels of assertive behaviors, individual communication styles, and even varying emotional intelligence. They may have personal points of adaptability as well as resilience. Ultimately, the leadership team members need to enjoy working with each other and develop true partnerships to help build an organization which values its people.

Leadership

Even though all leadership team members are leaders within their own business roles, the group will usually be championed and driven by one individual. This leader inspires as well as empowers the team, constantly building trust and providing a focus on results. They foster high levels of risk-taking, creative exploration, and a passion for the acceptance of ambiguity and complexity. Through well-managed delegation and careful listening for insights, this team leader enables actions supporting the vision of the organization for the future. They constantly enhance collaborative behaviors and attitudes, and an open-mindedness to learn new approaches and grow. All the team members are building self-awareness, taking time for self-reflection, and making many personal self-discoveries. They master the art of acting
decisively, cultivating compassionate relationships, and inspiring a genuinely supportive company culture.

There are four foundational components that are required to create and motivate successful leadership team synergy. And, as stated earlier, they are driven by group enthusiasm, effectiveness, and engagement.

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Component 1: “The Who”

One of the most critical elements for team success is filling the leadership group with the “right” members. They must have most of the required skills, competencies, and expertise to be able to be valued contributors. Their abilities have grown from different business roles and various team experiences. Having general group diversity in backgrounds along with well-defined talent in focused areas, such as technical knowledge, quality insights, or facilitation skills, all can be very beneficial for successful interactions. Team roles need to be carefully defined and balanced with expected levels of participation. The “right” team members must have the “right” attitudes, values, and beliefs to enhance different leadership and communication styles. Working together takes focus and care, especially since everyone is self-empowered to drive performance and not to be overly dominating or too authoritative. An effective leadership team made up with the “right” members needs to be the “right” size, probably a minimum of three or four individuals and a maximum of 10 or 11.

Component 2: “The Why”

The second critical element for a successful leadership team is having a very clear and focused purpose for the group. The long-term desires and expectations need to be well-defined to be able to establish the organizational direction and big-picture details. Personal relationships are driven and governed by the expected norms for the team. Going beyond individual needs and job responsibilities, there are very specific group-required commitments and mutual accountability for actions and deliverables. Open communication and the sharing of ideas helps drive trust and respect within the leadership team and enhances the approach to authentic collaboration.

Component 3: “The What”

The third critical element is based on a well-defined team vision and the desired team performance outcomes. The shared goals and measurable objectives are assembled jointly in a formal plan and carefully documented. Strategic priorities are also established. The future direction has gained the team members’ full consensus and buy-in along with the leadership group commitments. Operating processes and policies are also defined as part of the vision.

There is a strong focus on the levels of empowerment balanced with collaboration, and on the expected engagement for problem-solving as well as decision-making. Time management has high priority as well as a need for open and regular flow of communication. Ultimately, the successful team tasks and activities lead to achievement of the organizational mission.

Component 4: “The How”

The fourth critical element supports the implementation of the strategies of the vision and makes things happen based on real actions. The successes and desired outcomes are built on the leadership team’s supportive behaviors and connections. There is constant communication and collaboration, keeping all team members as well as the organization well-informed on the company direction and accomplishments. There is always a high level of willingness to change and redirect the plan to improve the various strategies. The leadership team secures regular feedback and support from many sources, and they listen constructively to gain understanding as well as factual context. Individual feelings and thoughts are shared openly and honestly, providing acknowledgment and praise for contributions and successes throughout the organization. The “how” component drives the performance and outcomes.

A successful and motivated leadership team must continuously assess and evaluate their direction, activities, and outcomes. When necessary, they must always be willing to redirect their efforts and strategic direction to be able to address new business challenges. The team needs to master the art of self-awareness, cultivate relationships, and grow an inspiring culture. This effective and impactful team has been built on trust and respect, on mutual identity of purpose, and on a willingness to be accountable and committed to the organization.

About the Author
Paul Fein is an organizational development consultant and certified life coach. As the the managing leader and director of The IDD Leadership Group, he a develops custom-created management development programs. Connect with Paul on LinkedIn. 
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