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Monday, February 15, 2010

Leadership Unity, Teamwork and Organizational Effectiveness

When I meet with management teams of organizations either for management team building or for leadership and management workshop, I would often see the manifestations of disunity as hindrance to their management effectiveness. Politics either cripple them or serve as a heavy burden that slows down the organization. It also diminishes the quality of life in the organization not only of managers but of everyone involved. Because of all these, isn't it just right to make it a matter of priority to eradicate disunity and crippling politics in an organization?

Management teams who demonstrate unity are easy to spot but they are difficult to find because they are rare. Is your management team one of them? Here are the signs that you are enjoying leadership unity:

Employees don't get mixed signals from members of management. When a policy is implemented or a decision is made, no member of management criticizes it. Everyone expresses support and does what is needed to make it succeed. Don't mistake this for herd mentality because it's not. Work necessary before policies are launched were done effectively that's why there's none of those usual griping that you hear directly from managers. You will know why after you are done reading this post.

Policies are clearly stated, fully implemented and fully supported by members of management from the top to front-line supervisors. New employees don't get confused by contradictions between what HR is saying during company orientations and what is happening on the floor. Managers and supervisors are not branded as strict or easy because strict implementation of rules is expected. ( if you don't want to be strict, make it a rule and then implement it strictly, know what I mean?)

When management instructions are unclear, employees go to their immediate superiors and they would get the information they need. They will not be asked to go to HR, IT, or Accounting for policy and procedures clarification because these things are perfectly clear to them. When they find that they are unclear about certain rules, they make it a point to ask the concerned department themselves so they can answer the employees' questions and the future ones to come.

Managers don't express their frustrations of other managers or criticize management in front of employees as they know that criticizing management is criticizing themselves. When issues arise from management decisions, they don't wash their hands off it. They find out what the issues are and work with other managers on resolving them. If it takes taking the decision back and coming up with a new one, they can and will do it.

There are no little kingdoms, no silos and no turf wars. The cohesiveness of the management team is so evident that employees emulate it. When issues of "them-vs-us" crop up, managers nip them in the bud by addressing the issues right away thereby preventing the building up of walls and gaps between departments and sections. Employees completely appreciate that "working together" and not "working against" is the norm.

It takes a cohesive management team to make it happen. One where roles and goals are clear and where norms for interaction, discussion of issues and decision making, among others are clear. There is so much to be gained in building this kind of management team. It improves decision making; it makes plans implementable; it helps resolve issues that get in the way of organizational effectiveness; and improves overall organizational quality of life.

The first step towards achieving this kind of leadership unity is to talk about it with the rest of your management team. Work with them on agreeing on a set of norms, and then relentlessly make it happen.

You can obviously do this among yourselves. It's not rocket science. But if you feel that you will need help in facilitating the process, we at EXEQSERVE can help. We've done so for several organizations already. It's a worthwhile investment. Invest on this and you will find that you will be getting the most return here and in your other investments in people, machines, processes and technologies.

Related courses:
- Team Culture building
- Team Leadership


  1. Great post! Hmmm...maybe one of these days, we could use your services.

  2. @Eusebio, I'll be happy to serve your company :)


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