Over the years we have advised multiple CEOs on how to build and lead their senior executive team. We believe that CEOs need to strive for the following five attributes to ensure a high performing top team. .
|Right Work. There are three aspects to focusing on the right work: topics that are the highest value for the organization, decisions that require interdependent work, and issues that are bi-focal (today & tomorrow).|
|Right People in the Right Roles. Being on the top team requires members to be ‘enterprise-level leaders’ (able to think above and beyond their narrow function or department). There will often be competition among the team to be the future CEO; the key is for the CEO to have people on this team who know they must minimize these dynamics.|
|Process Rigor. It vital to have productive methods for working together, such as agenda-setting, rules of engagement, managing the calendar, and ensuring their are regular discussions of current issues as well as occasional discussions of tomorrow’s issues.|
|Culture of Collaboration. Productive working relationships are at the heart of a successful top team. Team members need to get along. It is not necessary to be agreement at all times, but it is necessary to be aligned at all times. No topic should be too difficult to discuss. And a culture of shared leadership for some big, strategic topics can be very valuable.|
|Commitment to Excellence. A top team does all the things above, and that knows it exists for the benefit of the whole organization (not for narrow self interest) is an effective team. One that is keen to reflect on how it functions and strives to always improve is likely to be an excellent one.|