Leading as one
The single thing that has the biggest impact on the culture of an organisation is the culture of the leadership team. That’s worth repeating. The single thing that has the biggest impact on the culture of an organisation is the culture of the leadership team.
Let that sink in for just a moment. When this is out it infects, and affects, the whole organisation.
When the leadership team is aligned everything else just gets better
The Leading as One program is about getting the culture of the leadership team right. Getting aligned on who we are and where we’re going. Getting the behaviours of our leaders congruent with who we say we are. Both within the leadership team, and when we engage the whole business.
And that makes everything better.
When is it the right time to Lead as One?
Of course, we want to say: Always! But some circumstances make the timing more important than others. These questions help us assess whether this program is the right next step for your leadership team:
Is there a lack of alignment on agreed ways of working?
Are there fractured relationships in the team that create unhealthy tension
Are there too many priorities to navigate in the future?
Does the team have to deal with high complexity and uncertainty?
Has the business pivoted well but not created the time and space to reset?
Has the business recently gone through a restructure, merger or acquisition?
Has the business gone through recent growth and is experiencing ‘growing pains’?
Are the leaders making decisions in silos and it’s affecting teams across the business?
Do your leadership meetings have little accountability and decision making?
Has there been a recent change that requires a different way of working and therefore leading?
Do you have a good leadership team but really want to upgrade to a kickarse one?
If you answered yes to many of the above then it might be time to reset how your leadership team is working together and create space to have the conversations that need to be had.
Ideally, you’ve made the decision to move away from your current habits that produce the same results to a new and better way of leading as one. It means the team focused on what really matters most. Instead of getting lost in distraction, reaction and overwhelm.
How we do this
What we don’t do is get together for a day, write some inspiring words on a flipchart, commit on the day and then go back to business as usual. A one day offsite can be a nice top up, but it’s not enough to create meaningful cultural change.
We use an evidence based, data driven and conversation rich approach to making decisions about how we lead together for the future. The ‘Collective Leadership Assessment’ tool, from The Leadership Circle, assesses the teams ‘current state’ including strengths, pain points and desired culture. It is based on the 20 competencies that we need for a team to perform at its best.
This informs the levers the team have for success and the liabilities that will hold them back.
The team will become aware of their current way of working vs the desired future. In simple terms, the leadership group’s dynamics will be obvious. We then identify what the priority focus areas are to be able to progress on the strategy and vision of the business.
The Leading as One program helps with the ‘inner game’ required of each leader to deliver the results the business. That is, the awareness of how they operate with each other and the teams they lead.
It also helps clarify the ‘external game’. Getting clear on what we are here to achieve, the conversations we need to have and how we can do that ‘leading as one’.
The following is a high-level overview of how the program might play out with your leadership team. We will require a in depth briefing to confirm the exact roadmap for your team.
Key leader coaching
The key leader will be a significant part of this program and work closely with our facilitator throughout the whole program. As a result they will receive a 360 leadership assessment and 6 Coaching Sessions to help them lead the leadership team through this process.
The purpose of this is to start well and give clarity to the leader on the program, the process and the outcomes. At the end there will be alignment on what leadership means. We will have seeded concepts of adaptive leadership and become aware of the role we will play in its success.
Session 1: Anchor our why
This session is about getting on the same page about why the leadership team exists and the value it needs to deliver. It strengthens the purpose and vision that is the foundation for the program.
Session 2: Identify challenges
Here we become clear on the challenges that exist to be able to work as one. The difference between the known and unknown challenges will become clear. As a result, we will create connection and increase trust. This is the foundation for the success of the program.
Collective Leadership Assessment survey
This survey allows the leadership team to assess their current culture and understand the dynamics that are holding them back from being their best. The assessment allows you to choose which level you want to work on, whether it’s the whole organization or a single team.
Session 3: Our leadership culture
We use the survey data to gain insights about the current culture. We will see our patterns and habits and the impact they are having and become aware of where this creates energy and where it depletes.
We will connect this to our strategic plan and understand what it needs from us and make commitments about how to create the team we want to be. We will connect this back to the challenges we identified and understand what is creating unnecessary tension and redirect.
Session 4: Our roadmap
This session will help us make decisions that a high-performing leadership team needs to make. It surfaces the collective priorities and creates an agreed plan for the change required.
Team Session 5: Sustaining the change
We will share the results from our experiments and agreed on how we will sustain the change – personally and practically to keep on track.
Interim checks (optional)
If the team of organisation is going through significant change and/or there is more than one key leader we suggest we build in 6 x ‘Checks Ins’ with this core team throughout the program. To make sure we are clear on the changing landscape and what it means for the leadership team.
Here we will recognise what is going well and understand any roadblocks that are likely in the future. We will decide ‘where to from here’.
What will be different
Understand how their leadership impacts the team and their direct reports
Leaders will understand the impact of their decisions on the business as a whole
Experience being part of team that is sharing the load of problems and solutions
Create a kickarse culture in the leadership team where they are aligned on who they are, where they’re going, and how they operate
Develop high levels of trust within the leadership team
Be able to deal with highly complex, ambiguous complex as they arise
Become equipped to deal with significant change in the organisation
Create a renewed sense of optimism and belief in the leaders of the business
Have an increased level of psychological safety within the organisation
Be better at dealing with ambiguity and change