C-suite Team Building
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As a leader, your success depends on the people you manage and empower to help you achieve your goals. At the very top of an organization is its CEO or president, who typically has the most powerful position and title. However, being in charge of others that work for you is more than just having a big title.
It takes time and effort to develop relationships with other leaders at your company. When someone needs something from another person, they will often turn to them for help.
By investing in these relationships, you increase your chances of getting what you want within the organization. And while it may sound cliché, true leadership comes down to helping others succeed and know that they can count on you.
Team building is a great way to strengthen your relationship with your colleagues and superiors. Here are some tips for doing this.
Be a good listener
As a senior leader, your job is to motivate others to work hard so they feel that you believe in them and their ability to succeed. You need to listen well and pay attention to what people say, both formally and informally.
Formal meetings are great opportunities for listening as leaders can get important information from employees about projects, issues, and goals.
They may also learn something about how they can better serve or recruit help for the organization. By asking questions and showing an understanding of what’s going on, you’ll not only make yourself more knowledgeable, but you’ll strengthen relationships at the same time.
And don’t forget about non-formal conversations! People will tell you things, whether it’s positive or negative – by being aware and taking notes, you’ll be able to use this information later.
Facilitate open discussions and ask direct questions to determine if someone is holding back info because they think you won’t like it or they might lose their position. Or maybe they just want to see what you have to say before responding.
Either way, by putting away preconceived notions and sticking to what’s real and honest, you’ll enjoy meeting more challenges and achieving greater results.
Make sure you’re consistent
As mentioned before, being an effective team leader is more than just offering motivated speeches every now and then. It requires consistency, and not only that, it takes repeated actions to achieve results.
As a leader, your colleagues will constantly be looking up to you, asking how you managed to motivate someone else to do their job. They’ll also be observing your behaviors, trying to determine if they want to follow you or not.
If there are ever doubts as to whether you’re doing your job well, they can come from anywhere — emails, conversations, meetings, etc. - so pay attention to them, and fix any issues at the source.
As mentioned before, being able to connect with others is an important part of career success. But it’s not just about having friends—it’s about knowing what kind of friend you want to be and being that person.
It sounds simple, but we often don’t know who our real friends are until we're in a position where we can trust them. It's hard to trust people when they seem phony or like they're putting on an act.
So how do you know if someone is acting? They may put on certain behaviors or personality traits that aren't their own.
They may say things that don’t match up with what they really think or feel. Their actions may differ from their words. All of these things show that this person isn’t fully in control of themselves.
I've seen it time and time again at work; people who pretend to be something they're not never get rewarded for it. The higher ups learn that you shouldn't take those people seriously, so most of the time they stop trying to play your game and go after the ones that keep it real.
At my last job, I saw this happen constantly. People would come into the office every day pretending to be happy and engaged. Then they'd leave early without saying goodbye or leaving a note.
Share your experiences
As mentioned earlier, being able to relate to others and show an understanding of their lives is one of the most important skills you can develop as a leader. Developing relationships with people in your organization is a powerful way to do this.
Talking about yourself isn’t very interesting or entertaining, but being aware of other people’s stories helps you understand who you are leading and what makes them successful.
By listening to and exploring the inner workings of how they operate, you not only learn more about them, you also gain insights into how you could be better at your job.
As a senior executive, you have a moral obligation to bring out the best in those that work for you. If you don’t, it will eventually affect your own success.
You would probably agree that when someone does something well, they should get credit for it. But if everyone is doing the same thing, why not give them a chance to succeed instead of always promoting the person who seems like they might make it?
If you can’t promote someone because they don’t deserve it, then who can you promote? You may find that your team starts to self-select themselves away from you because they don’t feel that you believe in them. This can have a lasting negative effect on morale and trust.
Be a good manager
As a leader, your success will depend on the people you manage and how well you motivate them to do their jobs. You can’t expect those under you to rally around your cause unless they believe in it and are inspired by it.
You also have to demonstrate that you care about theirs – not just when there is an interview for a senior position or someone needs to be disciplined for missing a deadline, but consistently throughout the year.
When things get tough, you must show strength and confidence in what we call the ‘three Rs’: relationships, results and reward. If these don’t exist then why should anyone put in extra effort?
As a top level executive, it is up to you to set an example of leadership by showing humility, selflessness and respect.
Cultivate an environment of support
As mentioned earlier, the success of any leader is often influenced by those around them. People that work for you can make a big difference in how well you manage your career.
Leaders who create an open environment where people feel comfortable to challenge leadership and discuss potential changes or shifts in roles are ones that are noticed.
General managers and senior leaders look at someone with whom they must work closely as a strong team member and will offer their help when needed. Or, they may see this person as a possible replacement since everyone knows that this individual has the necessary skills to succeed in their position.
For example, if the manager does not have enough time to lead his/her department due to limited resources or staff under his/ her command, then his/her colleagues may initiate conversations about becoming a leader.
These opportunities to grow depend heavily upon whether or not the members of the team are able to trust each other. If they cannot, then such discussions will be discouraged.
Do not micromanage
A lot of leadership books tell you to be hands off and let people manage their own career, but that can backfire if you do it too much.
If you keep checking in and offering suggestions, you may create an environment where no one feels comfortable making decisions because you seem like you are always there to make the call.
This doesn’t work for executives who want to feel in control or individuals who don’t trust each other. In those cases, you have to learn when to step back and allow others to take charge.
When you need help, reach out to someone else in your organization or outside of it so that they can assist you in getting the job done. - Jon M.
As mentioned before, being an involved leader means doing more than just giving orders to others. You can’t expect people to follow you if they don’t see that you care about them as individuals and that you trust them.
As CEO, it is your job to lead. But that doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself – take time out of your schedule to meet with each member of your team at least once per week.
Ask how their day was, what they were working on, if there’s anything they need from you, etc... This not only helps them feel connected to you, but also allows them to express themselves and ask questions without feeling uncomfortable or left out.
Everyone has different leadership styles so please be conscious of those when meeting for the first time with someone new! What works for one person may not work for another.