“What are the characteristics that are a must for successful CEOs in the 21st century?” I recently asked that question of CEOs. With over 100 CEOs from 10 countries responding, here’s our top 5 list of 21st century CEO characteristics:
1. Inspirational Leadership
2. Exceptional Team Builder
3. Unimpeachable Integrity
4. Clear Communicator
5. Compelling Visionary
The second most mentioned characteristic by our respondents was Exceptional Team Builder. It takes a team of unified, committed, capable professionals to create and market innovative products and services your customers will love. Great 21st CEOs know how to build a high performing team. How do you do it?
There are three conditions of top team performance that need attention for the team to fly: 1. Creating Clarity, 2. Building Capabilities; and 3. Increasing Commitment.
Creating clarity means becoming explicit about the purpose, direction, values and the desired results of the business and for the top team. It addresses the norms of behavior, how information is shared, decisions are made and how conflict is raised and resolved.
Top teams continually grow their capabilities both individually as team members and collectively. Capability building includes developing the skill and will of each team member to talk straight, give and receive feedback and collaborate collegially.
As clarity is created and capabilities are increased, and attention is paced on building solid mutual relationships, commitment increases, trust increases and a belief emerges that when it’s time for the top team to work together, the team can and will operate in a way that will drive a superior outcome.
Who is the most important individual in determining the team’s success? It’s you! As CEO do you stack the deck for a great team performance, by ensuring the conditions are in place that increase the probability the group of direct reports will transform into an extraordinary top team and be sustainable?
So on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the performance of your top team today? Where should it be? If it is not a 9 or 10, what would be the benefit if it became a 9 or 10? What’s the price you pay without it being a 9 or 10?
An extraordinary top team is a very powerful competitive advantage that cannot be duplicated. Are you committed to becoming an exceptional team builder?