As an avid sports fan, there are teams I follow closely. I look at the leaders of those teams, and their approach and style. I think about the players on the team, the team chemistry and how it got that way. As a CEO, I spend even more time thinking about the teams that exist within my organization.
For me, there are two teams that are extremely important, and if they aren't cohesive, the company doesn't grow (or grow as quickly as it could). If they don't meet regularly, communicate, disagree, resolve those disagreements and work together, we won't achieve our goals.
Those two teams are my peer group, our Executive Leadership Team, and our management team.
Too often, leaders only emphasize the importance of each individual team's culture. The accounting department...the marketing department...the HR department. Don't get me wrong, team culture and team dynamics are important, but if leaders don't look at their managers as a collective team and prioritize strengthening and investing in that culture, the organization won't be as unified or as connected as it can be.
Leaders need to prioritize building relationships within their peer group...seeking input from their fellow leaders and working cross-functionally to achieve goals. Leaders need to feel comfortable holding their peers accountable. They need to disagree with one another. They need to have difficult conversations with their peers.
We do it all the time as managers! We provide feedback to our staff (if you're not, you should be). We push employees when they need it and give them a pep talk when that's what is needed. How come as leaders we don't do that with one another? Because we don't view it as a team.
For a management team to be truly strong, truly cohesive, it takes time. It takes effort. It takes vulnerability. As leaders, we need to invest in building relationships with our peers instead of overshadowing them. It will pay dividends for your career and your company.
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