A cohesive leadership team can be a powerful force, leading organizations to new heights of success. Yet building such a team takes a deliberate commitment to identifying the right leaders to fill positions and then instilling the behaviors and values necessary for continued business success. A cohesive team will trust each other enough to challenge and discuss important issues, identify opportunities for success, and support them regardless of which business sector they belong too. It’s a heady proposition, but a cohesive leadership team can be a transformational force when constructed correctly, executed well, and express a unanimous and unified outlook for where the company needs to go next.
Here are six business behaviors exhibited by a cohesive team:
1. A Shared Vision of Success
The task of establishing a unified vision of success for the business or organization falls on ownership and the executive leadership team members. Although it may be a broad concept – building and selling the best widgets in the country, or being the world’s leading seller of banana splits, no matter the vision, there needs to be one answer to the essential question: Why do we exist? It’s up to the team to come together to create the correct answer to that question and then unwaveringly be able to articulate it internally and externally.
2. A Sense of Trust
A foundational aspect of cohesive teams is trust – in each other, and the mission and vision of the team as a whole. Without trust, it’s unlikely that very much progress can ever be made towards having a cohesive and successful organization. Trust – including being vulnerable and admitting weaknesses – is essential to creating the relationships necessary to withstand and persist through potential challenges. The mutual respect and appreciation of the diverse personalities and ideas of other team members strengthens bonds and helps appreciate, and listen to, ideas presented by others. It also allows people to establish trust at an emotional level and share concerns, errors, worries and weaknesses without any hesitation.
3. Embracing Conflict
Within any team, especially those comprising of successful leaders, conflict will inevitably arise. The key is to embrace the importance of conflict and see it as an effective tool. With trust firmly in place, conflict is an essential part of the leadership process. Ideas can be raised, and honest, open debate can ensue. Conflict that’s considered productive leads to the sharing of bolder, more provocative ideas, with team members confident that the ensuing conflict is not only natural but highly productive and will lead to better outcomes. On the other hand, teams that avoid conflict will often limit feedback or create a chilling effect that prevents bold, or new, ideas from coming forward.
4. Eagerness to Collaborate
Collaboration is at the heart of cohesive teams. Trusting team members who share a common vision are more apt to work towards team goals and each other’s goals. This unified approach allows organizations to play from strength, using the personal and material assets of each unit to develop project teams, work across business functions, and produce dynamic and cohesive results. At the individual level, a cohesive team’s members recognize and value strengths others possess and will bounce ideas off of each other and create a culture of collaboration within their own divisions for the overall success of the organization.
5. Cohesion around Decisions
Compromise is an intrinsic component of group-based decisions. For some leaders, many of whom may be used to a strong sense of autonomy in their work areas, making concessions can be difficult. The cohesive team leaves the disagreements and discourse in the meeting room and embraces the decision publicly. If only one idea is chosen, team members need to understand why the winning path was chosen and support the idea, especially when communicating and committing to it within the organization.
6. Accountability for Actions
Trusting, cohesive team members need to understand how to hold other members accountable for their work. This task may be among the most difficult of unified teams but is crucial. Accountability cannot rest solely with the team leader; others must also be comfortable in calling fellow leaders on performance. Creating an environment where workers are held accountable for actions and processes will foster a successful work environment for the organization or business.
Teams that commit to the hard work to become a cohesive unit are far more likely to be successful in the long term. At Prometis Partners, we help businesses develop succession plans and create more value for when they decide to sell. We’re here to help businesses create positive leadership teams for long-term success regardless of the direction your business is headed.