The CEO Collective Q1 members’ huddle focused on building trust on the leadership team. Using Patrick Lencioni's book The Advantage as a jumping off point, CEOs brought their experience to the table and shared tactics that help to bring their teams together for the good of the company.
According to Lencioni’s “Model for Organizational Health” the most important thing a CEO can do for the health of the company is to build a cohesive leadership team. And to do that there must be a foundation of trust. He wrote, “If we don’t trust one another, then we aren’t going to engage in open, constructive, ideological conflict.” Without moving through conflict, results can’t be reached.
From The Advantage: Key Approaches to Building Trust
CEO Example: How Saying “No” to a Massive Opportunity Built Trust
Among the examples shared, one CEO told about a great opportunity with an existing client to take on all their business nationally. This would have doubled the revenue for the year. The leadership team met for weeks weighing it. Saying yes, meant blowing up the plan for the year. Just looking at the revenue alone it felt like something they couldn’t pass up.
Tension was building and they had to make the decision. The CEO went first and was vulnerable with his concerns, saying that he believed if they moved forward with this, “the team is going to hate us and client quality is going to go down.” Once he put this out there, others were able to admit they had these same concerns. The CEO added, “I think they were holding their breath and doing what I wanted.” They walked away from the opportunity, and since then, the team morale has been amazing. It was a defining moment -- an example of saying “no'' and how that can build trust.
From the CEO Discussion: 12 Tips for Building a Trusting, Cohesive Leadership Team
Building trust on the leadership team is a never ending process, but CEOs agreed that by staying focused on the practices like those above, team members can feel more connected and confident in working together, resulting in better results for the organization at large.
ABOUT THE CEO HUDDLE: Our quarterly CEO Huddles are member-only events for those in The Katahdin Group’s CEO Collective peer network. This is a forum for discussion and peer feedback on topics that are timely and important for those in the CEO seat. Learn more about the CEO Collective