The success of your organization is greatly influenced by your leadership team, and the future of your business depends on how well these individuals are performing. Regularly evaluating their performance, providing feedback, and improving structure are critical for success.

But how do you go about optimizing your leadership team for success? Here at Team Traction, we have identified 5 critical aspects of a successful leadership team and how to implement them.

1. Specialization

Leadership team members should each play a unique role in your business. Here are some reasons specialization is important:

  1. Specialization allows each team member to do what they are best at
  2. When leaders repeat tasks, they get better and better at what they do
  3. It prevents duplication of efforts and having leaders “step on each other’s toes”
  4. It creates one clear line of communication for each initiative

When hiring new team members, the best way to maximize your leadership team’s effectiveness is by bringing in leaders from different backgrounds and with different expertise. This will help to ensure that your team is well-rounded and prepared to face any pressing matter that may arise.

To improve the success of existing team members, have each team member write down their job description. See where there is overlap with other team members or where people are doing things that are outside the scope of their role. Narrow each person’s role down to only those tasks that are most important for the success of their department and allow them to truly focus.

2. Talent Matching

Does each team member’s specialization align with their natural talents? Are they passionate about and skilled at what they do? Here is an exercise to help assess how well your leaders are placed:

  1. Ask each of your team members to write down a list of the things they spend the most time on each week
  2. Have them write next to each item how much time they spend on that task, if they enjoy it, and if they believe they are uniquely good at it compared to other team members

Review the list with each team member. Ideally, they should be spending more than half of their time on things they are uniquely good at and/or enjoy doing. If not, consider shifting tasks and responsibilities.

3. Goal Alignment

Everyone on your leadership team needs to be growing in the right direction. In the hiring process, that means finding leaders whose personal and professional goals align with your organization’s. When managing your team, that means:

  1. Clearly define what the 1- and 5-year goals are for your company
  2. Determine what each leader needs to contribute to get there
  3. Set benchmarks and check in on progress regularly

When every leader understands the bigger picture and how they fit in, reaching goals becomes much easier.

4. Communication

Your team will need to navigate through problems, goals, initiatives, and more. You need to trust that they will be able to resolve any issues in a timely and effective manner.

You need to be confident that your leadership team will not withhold the truth when your organization needs it most. Even if it’s a difficult conversation to have, your leadership team members must feel confident and comfortable to address critical issues.

Tell your leadership team that open, honest communication is an important value. Encourage questions, challenges, and mutual feedback. Great communication starts from the top down; by having honest, open, and challenging conversations with the leaders in your company, you can set an example and inspire them to do the same.

5. Accountability

Creating a culture of accountability will keep your leaders on-track to achieving their goals. In the hiring process, this means seeking candidates who see their goals through and take responsibility for their own successes and failures. With your existing team, it means setting up processes to keep people accountable.

Set up weekly meetings with your team to review progress made toward goals. Have each team member make a list of the most important action items they will complete by the next meeting. Review the items each week together and address avoidance of responsibility as it arises. Have open, honest conversations about any tasks that are undone or goals that are unmet and why these failures occurred. Accountability is not about placing blame, it is about empowering responsibility and action.

Getting the growth you’ve been striving for is not only possible, it’s within reach. Adopting Team Traction’s Entrepreneurial Operating System has the potential to turn your business into the profitable, driven organization you want it to be. We take pride in guiding our business owner clients in overcoming these challenges and more. It all starts with a conversation.  Call us at (850) 473-1100 or click here for our contact page.