Leadership. It's a Team Sport.
When asked to reflect on your best experience with leadership, often the request conjures up the image of a great boss, role model, or historical figure. Commonly these images reflect the idea of a single leader. While we agree an individual can certainly serve as a meaningful representation of leadership incarnate, we know that leadership is a team sport.
We have come to expect a lot of our leaders. Today’s executives are expected to have the intellectual prowess to make accurate decisions in the face of incomprehensibly complex issues, the operational know-how to translate strategy into actionable plans, and the charisma to generate organizational commitment to drive plans to completion. With the overall business environment growing more global and complex by the minute, leaders find themselves fighting to deliver on these sky-high expectations often exhausting themselves and risking burnout in the process. Afterall, how can one single person possess such a diverse set of superhuman capabilities? The sooner individual leaders stop trying to be all things to all people, the better off organizations will be.
It’s time for a new paradigm. The future of effective leadership requires a team of leaders working in tandem to create enduring alignment in pursuit of driving forward organizational strategy. Much like a sports team, the success of the team is contingent on each individual team member pulling their weight toward the common goal.
In our experience working with health ecosystem leaders, we have found those who are successful are capable of creating a team of leaders aligned on two defining characteristics:
- A Sense of Shared Identity: High-performing teams of leaders have a unique identity — distinctive characteristics understood by the members that set them apart. These characteristics give members a sense of meaning from being part of the team and create passion for what the team does.
- Team Culture Aligned to Strategy: High-performing teams of leaders demonstrate cultural norms and behaviors that align with the overall organizational strategy. In this way, they are capable of translating the team’s unique identity into focused actions and bottom-line results rather than internal politics or turf.
Creating a team of leaders that can deliver on strategy can remove the isolating organizational burdens placed on the shoulders of individual leaders. By sharing in the challenges together, leaders can leverage the team’s collective leadership capabilities in pursuit of the organization’s strategy.
Interested in learning more about unlocking the potential of your organization’s leaders through alignment? Check out TLD Group’s Team Development and Acceleration Solutions.