Senior Leadership Teams – What makes Them Effective

June 2, 2010

Reading a good book right now called Senior Leadership Teams by Wageman, Nunes, Burruss and Hackman.

If you are on a Senior Leadership Team and want to learn how to be more effective, then this book is well worth the investment.  Just the chapter titles themselves make for a pretty clear and effective checklist of sorts for building a great team.  Look at how they read:

The Fall of the Heroic CEO and the Rise of the Leadership Team” – the opening chapter clearly explains how the increasing complexity of organizations, large and small, necessitates a strong leadership team working with the CEO.

First, Decide If You Need – and Want – a Team” – basic but important.  Do you really need a senior leadership team?  If you don’t, then don’t try to force the creation of a team.  However, most organizations really do need a senior leadership team, but the CEO may not really want one.

Create a Compelling Purpose for Your Leadership Team” – There needs to be a clear and compelling purpose for the team – not just the organization’s mission statement.

Get the Right People on Your Team – and the Wrong Ones Off” – Obvious statement it seems, but an area of challenge for most CEO’s.  The tendency is to include too many people or the wrong things as it can cause feelings to be hurt if you are not chosen to be on the team.  However, this is a common downfall of leadership teams – the wrong people on the team.

Give Your Leadership Team the Structure It Needs to Work” – smaller is better.  The most effective team they observed consisted of four people.  They found no senior leadership teams of over eight people that were effective.

Give Your Leadership Team the Support It Needs to Succeed” – does your team have the support it needs – from administrative support to a compensation structure that rewards the members of the team for exhibiting the right team behaviors?

Develop Your Own Team Leadership Competencies” – as the leader of the team, are you growing in your abilities to lead a high-performance team?  Are you growing in your ability to coach the team?  By the way – coaching an individual is much different than coaching a leadership team.  It is a different set of competencies.

What It Takes to Make Them Great” – this final chapter provides the highlights of their research that have the greatest implications for the actions of those who lead teams of leaders.

Again, it is a book well worth adding to your library in my opinion.

Have a blessed day today serving our Lord,

BG