Since joining BRS earlier this year I’ve been working with some fantastic senior leadership teams who are really driving high performance initiatives throughout their organisations. A common theme throughout these teams has been their commitment to united leadership including the coming together to work through challenges, drive alignment on key messages and the commitment to developing close working relationships with each other based on trust and mutual respect.
Each of these teams has shown a willingness to challenge, debate and then align on strategies, plans and actions – including what needs to be communicated and how – in order to effectively convey a united approach across their organisations. Most begin with a deep and shared commitment of the purpose, principles and objectives most commonly expressed as a vision statement, objectives, principles or a charter. The value of these tools extends beyond the visual representation and lies in the leadership team’s ability to align, understand and communicate their importance across the organisation. I’ve also noticed a real willingness to challenge and shift views based on the inputs, feedback and perspectives of other team members. This ability to actively align and openly debate comes more naturally to some leadership teams than others. It’s definitely more prevalent in teams with high levels of trust where people have taken time to build relationships through open and upfront conversations.
A commitment to united leadership is challenging. It’s an active process where people are encouraged to speak openly about their views and then align together as a team. From my experience the growing pains of developing trust, supporting each other and openly debating and challenging each other is outweighed by the longer term benefits of leading and being part of a true high performing team. It requires leadership teams to take the time to step out of the business, slow down and reflect on what their priorities are and the key messages they are looking to reinforce.
Taking this time is hard at the time but invaluable as part of a journey of change, improvement, growth and ultimately united leadership.