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Effective Executive Leadership Team Development

Executive leadership teams are formed to achieve results. A performance-oriented leadership team is one that meets or exceeds its goals.
Efficient development of leadership teams | Cristian Hofmann

Empowering Executives for successful Top Leadership & Senior Management Teams. Executive Coaching with real Results. HOFMANN.coach Zürich/Switzerland

Cristian Hofmann

Executive leadership teams are formed to achieve results. A performance-oriented leadership team is one that meets or exceeds its goals. This does not happen by default; it requires a conscious effort made by the entire team. In an effective team, all leaders are focused on their roles and have clear goals in mind. Each executive team member knows what is expected and applies themself accordingly.

An effective executive leadership team is also one that continuously works on its performance and constantly improves. Team members regularly reflect on their work and openly identify areas for improvement. This enables the team to keep getting better and to be successful in the long run. Research on team coaching provides insights into how to predict a team’s probability of success and develop a team into a high-performing team.

One of the biggest obstacles to building high-performing leadership teams is the perception regarding team effectiveness. Many leaders assume that their team members already know how to work effectively together in teams. However, the reality is that only one in five teams is considered high-performing. This means that many leadership teams don’t know how to function successfully in teams and, accordingly, have yet to apply a model in which they are committed to being more effective as an aligned executive team.

The goal of executive leadership team coaching is to create cohesion and a shared focus on what a team wants to accomplish, how a team wants to proceed and how a team wants to be perceived by its stakeholders. With the help of executive team coaching, a leadership team should become more impactful. The team should develop the ability to reflect and engage in a dialogue about what works and what hinders effectiveness. An executive team coach provides a safe space (in time and place) and leads a high-quality reflection in it with the goal of:

Bringing awareness to what was previously unconscious or undiscussable. When the implicit is made explicit, this is followed by increased understanding and insights into the perspectives and viewpoints of others.

This develops greater connectedness, better relationships and trust, the core of which results in greater effectiveness.

Team members learn together and develop themselves with an impact on the organization.

The executive team comes together for meetings where team members communicate constructively, succeed and have fun. They can manage tensions and resolve conflicts effectively.

How To Recognize Your Team’s Effectivenes

In a nutshell, team coaching is about a collaborative partnership with a team. This means that there is a contract between the team coach and the team (not with the team leader). The goal is for the team to become more effective. Effectiveness can be measured:

Five Requirements For Team Effectiveness

How can we identify whether a leadership team is set up for success? There are five conditions for executive team effectiveness:

  1. Alignment in the leadership team. The team has a clear identity, focus and role clarity.

  2. Be compelling with the team’s purpose and goal. Clarity and acceptance of co-created team goals are essential for all teams.

  3. Get diversity on the team. Interdisciplinarity of knowledge, experience and skills matters.

  4. Create a solid team structure and processes with clear working agreements and norms. Practice shows that solution-oriented norms contribute significantly to team success.

  5. Ensure building an organizational context to build trust, appreciation, recognition and co-creation.

Only when these conditions are met can the leadership team further develop teamwork skills and build on a solid foundation.

An important aspect of leadership team development is the ability to reflect regularly and engage in constructive dialogue about successes and setbacks. This requires courage, openness and a genuine willingness to question one’s own behavior and actions. But this is the only way we can truly work effectively as a leadership team and achieve our goals.

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