Leadership teams need this one thing to be effective

Teams need not only strong leaders, but they also need strong leadership teams. Senior leadership teams set the tone for the business, for the culture, for the vision, and for the strategic direction.  

Every day, or every week, I get asked by a leader, or a team member why their leadership team are not aligned. Are not singing the same tune. Are not all focused on the same things.  

The problem is that the senior leadership team don’t know that they are not aligned (generally speaking). And without alignment, it is only a matter of time before there are staff issues relating to psychological or physical safety.  

In my experience of coaching a large number of senior leadership teams, alignment is the big thing that is missing in less effective Senior Leadership Teams (SLTs). Here is how you increase it in with your SLT:  

1. Senior leaders need belief alignment 

When we do SLT workshops, to help senior leadership teams to come together in a unified way, the first thing we work through is belief systems and belief alignment. This is a crucial part of the alignment process, because our beliefs drive our behaviour in an unconscious way. They drive our languaging, they drive our decisions, they drive our team leadership.  

And they are deep down in our unconscious mind. They come from our conditioning, from our nurturing, and from our environment as we have gone through life. We are a sum of our experiences, and those experiences shape how we lead. 

If senior leaders have different belief systems, and that shows up as different leadership behaviours, the teams will see that, and feel the misalignment. 

Pro tip: Take the time to align your belief systems and start with what behaviours those beliefs should be driving.  

2. Senior leaders need value alignment 

The next part of our SLT workshops, involves a personal value process. Our values drive our behaviour in a conscious way. If you asked someone to describe you, they would use values-based words, like honest, happy, committed, motivated, or something similar.  

Our values are those parts of our psyche that we call on when we need to make big decisions. Like investment decisions or people decisions. We lean into our integrity or our respect or our caring values.  

We all have personal values. But organisations also have values. And the values of each senior leader need to align with the values of the organisation.  

This is very, very, very important. Please don’t underestimate how important it is for the SLT members to align their own values with each other, and with the values of the organisation. When senior leaders leave, they usually cite misaligned values for their reason for leaving. 

The values need to be on the wall, visible. They need to have some bullet points of required behaviours under each value.  

And most importantly, the SLT need to lean into those values when they are making big decisions, and they need to be able to clearly explain why decisions have been made.  

Pro tip: Take the time to get clear on your own values, share them with the other senior leaders and align those with the values of the business.  

3. Senior leaders need culture alignment 

The good news is that this one can take care of itself if the first two have been done properly. But even if they have, there is still a requirement for every SLT to be clear on what type of culture they are trying to drive in the business. Culture starts with the SLT. 

“Organisational culture refers to a company’s mission, objectives, expectations, and vision that guide its employees. Businesses with a strong organisational culture tend to be more successful than less structured companies because they have systems in place that promote employee performance, productivity and engagement” (credit: indeed.com). 

In short, strong culture drives the desired behaviour at all levels of the organisation. 

Or, when the senior leaders behave in a certain way, the whole business will. SLT members need to lead by example. Not leading by example is the quickest way to impact organisational culture. 

Pro tip: SLT members need to be aware of the impact of their behaviour on the teams. Lead by example is the key message here.  

So, there you have it. For any SLT to be effective, it must be completely aligned. And every team and team member in the business should see that! 

And please click the image below if you’d like to chat about what leadership means to you.

If you would like to learn more about Anton or The Guinea Group, please click hereto book into Anton’s calendar, to:

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About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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