- By Kristin Tull, Ph.D.
Ideally, every organization would have a tier of leadership teams that work well together, moving decisively forward in a direction that always benefits the organization. In reality, organizations struggle to achieve this kind of leadership unity and communication. High-performing leadership teams can fast-track an organization to success, while ill-functioning leadership teams can hobble the entire structure from the top down.
If high-performing leadership teams are so crucial, why is it so difficult for organizations to build them? Why is there a lack of high-performing team training?
What Does a High-Performing Leadership Team Look Like?
First, many organizations fail to understand what having a high-performing leadership team means. These kinds of teams function like a well-oiled machine. They are able to make extremely quick business decisions. They’re also able to make good choices for the organization that move it in a positive direction. Effective leadership teams are skilled at maintaining their focus in strategic areas, rather than in technical ones.
Another factor that differentiates high-performing leadership teams from those who struggle is that in the former, the individuals know each other well enough that they genuinely care about one another. Because of this level of support and appreciation, they are able to challenge each other in healthy ways. They also know how to hold each other accountable. Altogether, these factors help them achieve the best outcome for the organization.
Identifying Problems with a Team
Those who have been on a high-performing team know how good it feels to operate on one. For those who don’t feel as though their team is functioning particularly well, what are the warning signs that a team needs a reboot?
Conflict and infighting between members of a team are definite red flags that the team is dysfunctional. Individuals on a team that isn’t high-performing will make decisions that are out of alignment with the rest of their team members. Leaders on a dysfunctional team will suffer from a lack of appreciation and respect for the other members’ skills and abilities. It will also take this kind of team an extremely long time to make key leadership decisions.
These kinds of misalignments will have effects far beyond the team itself. In fact, these seemingly small gaps will become evident as gaping chasms shooting down the chain of command in the organization.
Identifying Team Strengths and Weaknesses
PRADCO focuses on two areas that are important to high-performing leadership teams. The first is helping each individual understand their strengths and development opportunities. PRADCO assessments help individuals determine:
- Who are they as a leader?
- What strengths do they have that they can leverage?
- In what areas should they spend time working on improvement?
- In what areas should they rely on others for support?
The second area on which PRADCO assessments shed light is the strengths and development opportunities of the team as a whole. Combining the results of Quick View Leadership Assessments and PRADCO 360 Assessments can help the team look for trends in the data. Overall, are team members too compassionate and nice? Are they too hard on others?
Working Through Issues with Workshops
After the assessment results have been compiled, PRADCO workshops help teams build a foundation of trust and communication. The team will also work on understanding how its individuals function, as well as how the team functions as a whole. The workshops are given over three or four days and can look something like this:
First workshop: Using the assessment data gathered on each individual, the team will work to understand the group’s strengths and weaknesses.
Second workshop: This session will focus on trust. It allows individuals on the team to be direct, open, and honest with each other, putting everything out on the table so that it won’t create problems as the team moves forward.
Third workshop: In this discussion, the team will learn how to have healthy communication, challenge one another, and hold each other accountable. These are the keys to building solid relationships.
Fourth workshop: Now that solid relationships and an appropriate operating system are in place, the leadership team will learn how to focus on delivering high-level results.
Seeing Results With High-Performing Team Training
For most organizations, PRADCO leadership team training works best starting with the senior leadership team. As that team begins to operate at a higher level, it can then cascade its philosophy down to the next level.
A typical team in this program is full of individuals with extremely strong technical skills but who are limited in their leadership skills. This is because often organizations don’t teach people how to lead; they simply promote them.
PRADCO has had a great deal of success with helping organizations take their leadership teams from performing well enough to high-performing. One organization had a team of salespeople and engineers that had been brought together to lead as a team. Initially focused on their individual areas, the team members learned to shift their focus to the leadership team as a whole.
Over time, they went from floundering when presenting at the corporate level to being poised, expert presenters. Today, they’re functioning effectively, making quick decisions, and cascading all they’ve learned to the level below them in order to help that team function at a high level, as well.
Another leadership team consisted of a group of engineers and scientists. They were struggling to communicate in ways that generated a level of healthy conflict that would allow them to achieve positive results. Too detail-oriented, they had to reframe the way they operated and interacted with one another.
Now, the team is quick at making good decisions, is able to challenge each other and hold one another accountable, and can better impact the organization in a positive way.
Having an organization that runs like a well-oiled machine starts at the top. To be an effective leader, a person must do more than work on individual strengths and weaknesses; they have to be able to effectively communicate and collaborate as a team. PRADCO leadership team training helps ensure that leaders have the tools they need to benefit their teams, as well as the entire organization.
At PRADCO, we have the experience, drive, and tools to be your partner in hiring and developing talent. We’ll take the time to learn about your organization and customize solutions for you. We’re ready to help you hire and promote with confidence. If you’re ready to get started, let’s talk.