If you are a business owner or the manager of a large division, you feel daily pressure to perform. It affects everything you do: your time, your health, and your sleep. Stress is normal – and can be healthy as we outlined in this article – however, it would do you a lot of good to take a hard look at your leadership team and ask yourself if you have done your best to surround yourself with the right kind of people.
Do You Have the Right Leaders?
Leading well involves having a team of people you can depend on and who challenge you to be the best you can be. You need your leadership team to be built with people you can trust to do what is right for the organization and its people.
Whether you manage a handful of people or hundreds of people, it is important to take a look at who is working alongside of you. Do you have the leadership team in place that helps carry the stress, rather than add to it? Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I trust the members of my leadership team?
- Do we foster open communication?
- Are new ideas welcomed in order to keep us competitive?
- Is each of us approachable?
- Are the members of our team sharpening each other?
- Do we think differently, in a good way?
- Does our leadership team have the strengths we need to reach our business goals?
- Are we chasing too many initiatives?
Similar Leaders May Not Be Best for Business
You may love your team, but that may not be what brings success. You want to avoid certain pitfalls and introduce certain behaviors if you want to build a solid team. Both of these take awareness of who is currently on your team and where you want to be in 5 years.
The fact is, we are prone to hire people just like ourselves — people with similar passions and strengths. They may be great fun to do business with, but most likely, they are not a good complement to moving the business forward. If this is you, you will start seeking noticeable skills gaps in your organization. This will only add to your stress as you try to do business.
Also, be aware that it’s not a bad idea to have a contrarian on your team to help you think through major decisions. If that sounds odd, take a look at this article. If you surround yourself with “yes-men” you will not be challenged appropriately which could lead to poor consequences.
Assemble a team that is diverse and has the necessary skills to move forward. Consider leaders of different backgrounds, ages, gender, and skin color to provide a breadth of experience. It’s unusual to have access to such a wide group of leaders so it may be necessary to involve an outside executive search firm to provide the talent pipeline you need.
We offer a great whitepaper that outlines team development in simple terms. The 4 graphs illustrate the relationship of team effectiveness and team performance during different stages of team development.
“High-performance teams have a coach that has the respect of the other team members and is able to mediate disagreements or offer independent perspective and advice for moving forward.” This key player makes a significant difference to the performance of the team. Be sure to bring in people with a coach-like mentality.
“Go beyond work-specific knowledge of each other. The best teams truly know and care for each other as individuals.” This philosophy is echoed throughout many of our articles because we believe it is so essential to building the best kind of teams. (Here is one and here is another.) Caring work relationships foster motivation, loyalty, unification, satisfaction and creativity. Who wouldn’t want that?
Fill Your Gaps With the Right Leaders
If you are overwhelmed and feel like you never get ahead, it may be time to add to or reorganize your leadership team. When you have the right leaders working with you and for you, success can be achieved with far less stress.
If you realize that you need changes in your leadership team but the idea of tackling this transformation is completely overwhelming, find a business partner that can take the lead. Centennial would be honored to partner with you to take a deep dive into what you have and what you need to lighten your load and move your organization forward. Let us help you find the key leaders that will make a difference in your future.