Developing Your Leadership Team
To help you build a strong leadership team for your business, we asked CEOs and business leaders for their best insights. From considering the time and money involved to creating a leadership champion mindset, there are several actions to take that will help make your leadership team exceptional.
Here are nine ways to build a strong leadership team:
- Consider the Time and Money Involved
- Solidify Your Goals
- Decide the Most Important Roles Needed
- Define the Organizational Culture You Want to Create
- Listen to Your Current Team and Prioritize their Needs
- Ascertain Cultural Alignment
- Take An Agile Approach
- Success Metrics and Autonomy to Achieve Them
- Why Leadership Champion Mindset is Essential
Consider the Time and Money Involved
It can take a considerable amount of time and money to fill leadership roles that can take you great places. There may be a trial and error process involved, with those you thought would be a great fit proving they were anything but. You're not going to build out a strong team overnight, and it may not be cheap to fill those roles. Once you have your desired team in place, though, you'll know it was all worth it.
-Henry Babichenko, European Denture Center
Solidify Your Goals
First, take time to solidify your goals, vision, and direction for your team and the company as a whole. You need to clearly define and articulate your desired outcome so that your team can then execute it. This is especially important since most people want to know more about you and your vision for the company before they sign up to invest their time and energy. So, set your goals first, then you can find the right people for a strong leadership team.
-Nick Santora, Curricula
Decide the Most Important Roles Needed
There are specific leadership roles that an organization should have filled as early as possible to have the best chance at success. Your particular needs may differ, but positions like product manager and marketing manager are common for anyone seeking to build a solid leadership team. Decide upfront which roles are needed and which to fill first, then build your team from there.
-Thorin Yee, Best Companies AZ
Define the Organizational Culture You Want to Create
Individual behavior will shape group norms over time, and then, as more time passes, those norms will define your organizational culture. While strong leadership teams need to align their vision and strategy, how they show up (behave) is equally, if not more important. A cohesive culture sets the tone and expectations. It gives team members clarity around what is valued and how they treat and talk to each other. A clear culture creates stories, artifacts, and behaviors that help organizations navigate even the most difficult challenges because it acts as a compass to ensure that you are bring integrity to all your efforts.
-Eugene Dilan, DILAN Consulting Group
Listen to Your Current Team and Prioritize their Needs
Communication is the key to smooth operations, and you can use it to strengthen the leadership team you already have in place. After all, you hired the people on your leadership team for a reason. Talk to them, and make use of their experience and input. Sound them out to see if they feel they have everything they need on their end to carry out their duties successfully, and if they say they don't, ensure that you provide what they need.
-Jon Schneider, Recruiterie
Ascertain Cultural Alignment
Challenges can compound when those on your leadership team aren't aligned with your organization's overall structure, operations, and culture. We're in the business of helping recruit culturally-aligned talent for companies, so we know how hard it can be to get it right on your own. To operate at peak strength, you need to ascertain whether everyone is on the same page. If not, it may be time to clean house and recruit more culturally-aligned leadership candidates.
-Ryan Nouis, TruPath
Take An Agile Approach
Mindset is essential to having a robust and successfully agile leadership team. With Agile, we focus on collaboration to iterate and improve processes. In the past, Agile was only considered for software development. Today, Agile methodologies can be used in almost all areas of business, particularly those areas that demand constant change and iteration. As technology and tools continue to evolve to improve efficiencies, you can use agile methodologies to facilitate process improvements on any team within any industry.
-Debra Hildebrand, Hildebrand Solutions, LLC
Success Metrics and Autonomy to Achieve Them
One of the challenges entrepreneurs face, particularly those in their first start-up, is giving up control to those they have placed in leadership. Often you've gone through a rigorous hiring process to bring on staff. Why prevent them from doing the work? Often, it is because you don't feel comfortable giving up control. And yet, the best way to grow your organization (and free up your time!) is to give your staff the autonomy to do their job. One way to help you feel comfortable in doing so is to set up deliberate success metrics and regular check-ins around progress. This will help you build up your confidence in their ability to do the work (and theirs).
-Russ Finkelstein, Roddenberry Foundation
Create a Leadership Champion Mindset
One of the greatest opportunities to build a strong leadership team is creating a leadership champion mindset across the organization. It will increase the effective way of facing challenges head-on and help with a decisive yet humble approach while taking on more ownership and accountability. Demonstrated resourcefulness, honesty and transparency will go a long way, especially during current events.
-Izabela Lundberg, Legacy Leaders Institute
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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.