Which Hat Do You Wear?

May 2, 2012

Good morning!  Are you a member of a leadership team for your organization?  If so, what hat do you wear when you are in your leadership team meeting?  That of a team member or that of the “representative” of your part of the organization?  This is one of the key issues that keeps a group of leaders from actually becoming a team.

Team members are usually functional heads of a part of the organization (and have great emotional attachment to those areas) as well as a member of the leadership team for the overall organization.  The pull between the two roles can greatly hamper the effectiveness of the team if not dealt with directly with clearly understood roles and parameters.

Most of what are called “leadership teams” are actually “working groups”.  A working group is when the members come in as representatives or advocates of their particular area of responsibility and their functional role takes priority over their role on the leadership team as a leader of the entire organization.  Think US Congress!

Members of a true leadership team realize that their first responsibility is to the advancement of the mission and the overall organization and that their role as a member of the leadership team trumps their functional role.

Reconciling this issue and actually learning to operate in this manner is one of the biggest hurdles to a “working group” of leaders actually becoming a true leadership team.

So, what hat will you wear at your next leadership team meeting?  Advocate for a constituency or team member that desires to move the organization forward?

BG