Is your senior leadership team a fine tuned engine, getting regular maintenance and driving results. Or does it struggle to get all 8 horses pulling your organization’s agenda forward. If you are part of that engine and want to know whether it’s time for a tune up, here are some signs.

Obvious power struggles, fake agreement, divisiveness, protectionism, speeding up or slowing down decisions, grandstanding, hi-jacking the agenda, and the list goes on. Not as clear as a service engine light flashing on the dashboard, but these signs mean the same thing and should not be ignored. The frequency and intensity of the behaviors noted above, has a direct impact on your team’s ability to make better decisions faster and see growth and improvement come earlier with less resistance.

Quite frankly many senior leadership teams single handedly bring their organization to its knee. They do this by overlooking the teams functioning (or lack of) and push outcomes only. Do you sit at senior leadership table, see these behaviors, and feel their effects? Do you want to minimize these behaviors? And bring out the best from every talented individual in your group? If yes, please read on.

Your organization’s ability to succeed rises and falls with the capability and willingness of senior leader’s to work together around its shared purpose and common goals. Why is this so important? Leaders set the tone for the rest of the organization. And if you don’t think your people know what goes on behind closed doors, think again. Even if they don’t know the blow by blow events in the boardroom, they feel the impact of those blows.

Arguing, debating, waffling are signs, indicators that it’s time to look under the hood. What do we look for? 1. Are we a group of individuals departmentally focused vs organizationally committed. 2. Are current processes for collaboration and decision making working. 3. Are Leaders unaware and/or unprepared to address their individual behavioral contributions. 4. Are we effectively managing and communicating accountability and results.

So how do we get from arguing, debating and waffling to vision building, information sharing, real decision making and clear progress? By having the entire team address all four steps in the Performance Improvement Model: 1. Team Purpose (thinking) 2. Team Process (culture) 3. Individual behavior and 4. Reporting (results).

  • Team Purpose: What role does the senior leadership team play in getting the organization to its desired future state? In what specific ways is this different than how it sees its role/purpose today?
  • Team Process: What are the groups shared values, beliefs? What are the groups guiding principles? What are the group’s processes for collaboration and decision making?
  • Behavior: What behaviors do team members need to start, stop or improve upon?
  • Results: How will the team know if it is succeeding? What team behaviors and results will be monitored? What team indicators will be on the dashboard?

The Performance Improvement Model is a guide for working on the team – different from managing the results the team produces. As the team builds out this framework together, they strengthen. Shared understanding is gained, minimizing feelings of frustration, and increasing feelings of mutual trust. All of this makes it easier to notice, address and move individual(s) concerns and organizational goals forward, faster, in a positive way.

There is no more important piece of machinery than the senior leadership team engine. Ask yourself, would your team benefit from a tune up?