Communication and Leadership from the Top by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
I was reviewing the statistics from the Athena Alliance blogtalk radio show and noticed that the shows that had the most listens were those that had to do with communication and leadership. I have captured some of the key points from these shows in this weeks blog.
Often leadership teams consist of between 7 9 executives, depending on the size of the organization. One thing is very clear, it the attitudes and actions of this team that can impact the overall culture and performance of an organization. There is often a common thread with people at the top, they are very similar in nature. Qualities such as driven, outcome focused and competitive are what contributed to their success. There is a challenge with teams when the top people are too much alike. They might be missing some important components such as creativity, heart or imagination.
The most successful teams have members who operate at a level of personal awareness. They who they are and what their triggers are. Awareness is key. In order to build a high functioning team, it needs to be built on a strong foundation of trust. Without trust nothing else works. Leaders need to clearly define what trust looks like for their team and what are values they will living by.
Clear honest and open communication is paramount to success. If there is conflict with the members of the senior team, it will be reflected throughout the rest of the company. Having a solid foundation of trust will allow the members to challenge each others perspective with no negative impact on the culture or results.
They big takeaway for me from reviewing these shows is the importance in knowing yourself and what drives you. Knowing whether you lead through people, vision, drive or process will help you create a team to compliment your strengths. No leader can be all things, and trying to be all things can only lead to stress. We often hear the phrase play to your strengths. Powerful teams have a balance of personality, preferences and strengths.
Another challenge a leadership team can face is when the members are operating with their departmental goals as top priority. Often a shift has to take place to operate with the focus on the overall organizational goals.
Over the years leadership has changed; it used to be a top down model, then it moved to a flatter structure to now it is almost circular where various departments and customers are included. Having the four generations in the workplace and more social media connections has changed the corporate landscape for sure. It offers new and exciting opportunities as well as challenges, but one this is the same: building trust in communication and leaders is timeless.