Building a leadership team is a skilled art. While stacking the team with people boasting the most impressive resumes is one strategy, it may not be the best one. Bringing together individuals with the most education or skills doesn’t necessarily mean they will be able to work together. A core component of a successful leadership team is one that is on the same page and cooperating as a unit.
A leadership team is often composed of chief executive officers, vice presidents, chief financial officers, and c-suite positions. Together, the leadership team is responsible for crafting the company’s mission and vision, setting goals, and implementing initiatives. These individuals manage teams and have a say in company-wide decisions.
Whether you’re just starting to build your leadership team or you already have a few key positions filled, keep reading. Here are three strategies to help build the leadership team of your dreams.
1. Set Your Vision Before Hiring
First, you need to set the overarching vision for the team. What is the purpose of your leadership team? How do you envision them working together for the company’s greater good? What gaps are missing in your current managerial team? It’s okay if you don’t know the answers to these questions just yet. You may need to dig into the core of the business a bit more to truly understand your needs.
This is where looking at performance analytics can be beneficial. This discipline measures key performance indicators (KPIs) and the subsequent returns of investment (ROI). The objective is to find ways to improve and optimize accordingly. With this model, you can identify the types of traits and characteristics that are likely to produce the best results for your leadership team.
Taking performance analytics into account during the interview and hiring process allows you to be more objective when interviewing candidates. Rather than going off of gut instinct, you can evaluate based on hard data and predictive modeling. With this, identify ways that you can seek high quality candidates with your identified traits in mind. These ideally should ladder up to the vision of your leadership team and how these leaders will work together to propel your business.
2. Define Roles and Responsibilities
A leadership team can easily start to step on each other’s toes. Leaders may think something is under their privy when another member of the team is working on it. This can quickly lead to confusion and internal conflict. To avoid this, you want to establish and define roles for every member of your executive team.
When looking at your team, pinpoint what specific tasks need to be accomplished. This can be anything from managing budgets and financial decisions to strategic planning. Ideally, one teammate is the lead or point person on these tasks. While everyone may participate in strategic planning, one person should be responsible for initiating the discussions. The more specific you are with defining roles, the more empowered the team will feel in their positions.
To define roles efficiently, look at your team’s individual strengths. While some may be better strategic thinkers, others may be passionate about team growth and mentorship. And remember, as your company grows and your team expands, the assigned roles will likely expand too. Growing together as a leadership team means recognizing when old patterns are no longer working and pivoting when necessary.
3. Provide Education and Training
Leaders come to the table with a certain level of education and skills. Their prior experiences shaped who they are and how they interact in the workplace. They’ve likely managed multiple employees with various backgrounds and know how to get the most out of their team. Yet your leadership team is a new group, and it may be the first time some of these individuals are part of an executive team.
This is why providing professional development opportunities for your executive team as a whole is beneficial. It can also be a form of team building. There are numerous training options available today, ranging from in-person motivational speakers to online certificates. Attending conferences can also spark innovation and allow for further connection and engagement amongst the team.
When looking for training opportunities, ask the team what they would like to learn or improve upon. Getting their buy-in from the start ensures they will be interested in the subject matter. Set aside a chunk of time each month or quarter for education and training. It is a time commitment, but the reward is learning and growing together.
High-performing leadership teams are motivated, reliable, and collaborative. The members lean on each other for advice and expertise, all while navigating and overcoming various hurdles and setbacks. They have shared goals and are focused on positive outcomes for the company. Above all, employees remain their number one priority, and they are looking out for their best interests.
Keep in mind that the leadership team will ebb and flow based on the current business needs.
While financial planning may be a priority in Q4, employee growth may take precedence in the first half of the year. With this, certain members of the executive team will be spotlighted accordingly. The key is to allow them to shine, while also providing them with the support and resources they need to get the job done. Building your dream leadership team is a commitment, however the payoff is worthwhile when your business is succeeding and reaching new heights.