We’re all familiar with Pete Seeger’s song set to the words of Ecclesiastes about “a time for every purpose under Heaven.” As the text,which by tradition is read at this time of year, tells us, there is “a time to build, …a time to be silent and a time to speak.” These are ancient lessons which today’s leaders should heed.
Increasingly, we’re being asked by clients to help with leadership development of the Senior Leadership Team. The complaint from the CEO, Board Chair or CHRO usually includes: “We do not act like a leadership team.” “We all come to meetings thinking only about our own performances and staying out of trouble.” “We do not challenge each other for fear of being challenged back.” “We give boring reports on what’s happened, promise the trend is upward and go home.” This is especially true during the annual budget process when team members protect their turf, too terrified to think of the greater good. Predictably, none of these companies are out performing their competitors.
The good news is that strong intervention can drive real change. Effective team leadership can be built in a period as short as six months for CEOs and their teams who are willing to do the hard work. It requires a multi-step process involving interviews, commitments, assessments, 360’s, workshops, team coaching, individual coaching, development plans and multiple scorecards. Given the benefits that flow [from improved business performance], this is not a very high price to pay and, once it starts, it’s actually fun.
Put another way, a little hard work can fix a very big problem. As it says in Ecclesiastes, “There’s nothing new under the sun.”