Building a leadership bench aligned with your strategy and armed with the capabilities you need now and in the future is challenging. Most organizations that I work with are more than willing to spend time and money on building individual leadership skills. They offer high potentials opportunities for challenging projects (the very best development, when partnered with coaching), executive level courses, individual mentoring and coaching. But they do little to build a “leadership collective”. A collective, as in “shared” and “united”, is much more valuable than strong individual performers.
So often clients are trying to “break down the silos” and inspire their leaders to work more collaboratively. They are surprised at how proprietary and competitive their leaders are (more on this in an upcoming post). Yet most of their people systems celebrate individual accomplishment. Performance, compensation, and succession are built off of old models focused on leaders who have outstanding individual, team and business unit performance. The cult of the “star” leader is wired into all of their talent conversations: “9 box” processes, performance calibration and succession planning. True, most organizations have a percentage of their incentive plans dependent upon overall business performance. But it isn’t enough.
You have to be very intentional if you want your top leaders to act as a high performing team with a collective charter, which should be delivering your strategy.
In today’s economy if you want to accelerate growth, you need all your leaders rowing together. You want them to have diverse experiences and perspectives for sure. You want them to have strong team leadership skills, to inspire and motivate their direct team. But you also need them to grow, challenge and inspire each other. When you leverage the “collective”, you raise the bar for all your leaders and their teams. I don’t know any business that can’t benefit from more collective leadership.
Welcome to Moira's blog. I write a (mostly) monthly post about the work of building better work places: people strategies, systems, teams and leaders.