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5 Executive team building ideas and thoughts for growing companies

Executive team building

With growth, comes change. Sustained success in business requires the ability to adjust and adapt to growth. You must embrace change.

This is especially relevant and important for business owners and executives. As your company grows, your role changes. You can no longer be directly involved in all the different areas of the business. It’s critical that you have a trusted core team in place to handle and lead different aspects of the business.

Below are 5 executive team building ideas and thoughts to help you develop your executive team:

Is it time to build my leadership team?

You’re wearing too many hats

The first step in building your executive team is to realize you need one. As your company grows, so too does your role. At one point, wearing all the hats of the business was manageable, even if very challenging. But as your company grows, the demands of those many hats become greater, more complex, and more time-consuming. That’s when wearing all those hats is no longer manageable. This stage is a good time to develop your core leadership team so they can shoulder some of those responsibilities.

You’re being drawn away from your strengths

As your responsibilities and the demands on your time grow and become more dispersed, you may find yourself drifting further and further away from your areas of strength. In the early days you might have spent most of your time in sales and marketing because this is where you offered the most value to the company. Now, as the company and team have grown, you find yourself spending less time here, and more time handling employee and financial issues, areas that may not play to your strengths. It’s important that you still find time for your strengths even as the company grows.

  • In what areas do you offer most value to the company?
  • What areas of the business take most of your time?
  • If you had a team in place to handle everything else, where would you choose to spend your time?

You may already have your core team in place  

Another important thing to realize is that you may already have the makings of a leadership team in place. Who can you trust to handle responsibilities you have no time for? Who are you delegating urgent matters to when your focus is needed elsewhere? Who’s consistently proactive taking care of important matters before you even ask or delegate? These are the people you can rely on. They are the building blocks of your leadership team.

Who will play what role?

Identifying who comprise your leadership team is only the first task. You also need to figure out which roles they will play. After identifying who will make up your leadership team, consider the following questions:

  • What roles do you want to continue to play?
  • What responsibilities and areas does that leave open?
  • Which are the biggest priorities?
  • What unique strengths do your core team members possess?

Now you have a clear picture of what roles you need to fill and who’s going to fill them. You also have insights about the unique strengths of your core team members. It’s important to place them in roles that play to their strengths.

You’re losing a productive employee

As you build your leadership team and place team members into new roles with more responsibility, you must also remember that you are taking them away from their original role. It’s likely they were very productive, effective and efficient in their previous role. It’s important to remember this and consider the following questions:

  • How am I going to replace that productivity?
  • Who is going to replace that productivity?

You now have a team

You’ve identified your core team members and even defined individual roles. You’ve made great progress but you are not at the finish line just yet. Now that you have a team you need to act as a team. It’s crucial that your leaders not only understand their roles, but also know how their roles impact others on the team. They need to know how individual roles helps and allows other team members to excel in their roles. This is when you have a team.

Strategic planning questionnaire: Are you and your employees on the same page?

Strategic Planning Questionnaire

Have you ever felt you and your employees are not on the same page? Do members of your leadership team have different ideas of what the organization should seek out to achieve? Are your employees performing and acting as you see they should? These are signs of an organization that is not aligned.

To maximize your effectiveness as an organization, all your employees need to be on the same page. Below is a strategic planning questionnaire to help you align your organization.

Alignment of Vision

Having a cohesive team starts with having a shared vision of what you are trying to achieve as an organization. It’s critical that you, your leadership team, and your front line employees are aware of this vision and believe in it.

If an outsider visited your company and asked any employee about the vision, what would the answer be?

Alignment and Understanding of Core Values

Your organizations core values are beliefs which are absolute. They’re the foundation for all decision making. This includes long term decisions about strategy and direction as well as your everyday decisions. Do your employees share their skills and knowledge with other team members? Do employees come in early and leave late? All these actions are a result of your organizational values. Here are two questions to consider:

  • What are your organizations core values?
  • Are these values known and shared throughout the whole company?

Behaviors That Support the Values

It’s critical that your organization has clearly defined values, and that these values are known and shared throughout the company. It’s not enough to stop there, however. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. Assess if your employees behaviors are consistent with the values. Also, assess if your behaviors are consistent with the value.

Consider these two questions as well:

  • How do you view your employees’ behaviors in relation to the values?
  • How do they view your behaviors in relation to the values?

Alignment of Organizational Goals

Going back to the vision, it’s not enough to just have a shared vision throughout your organization. All employees must also understand their specific roles, goals, and how they impact the company.

Let’s assume both the vision and overall organizational goals are known throughout the company. Consider the following questions:

  • Do employees know their department goals?
  • Do they understand how their own goals and responsibilities impact the department?
  • Do they understand how their department goals impact the organization?
  • Do they know how their department goals impact other departments?

What You Can Do

Assess if your organization has an aligned vision, shared values, behaviors consistent with your values, and clearly defined goals. Start with yourself. Next, work with your leadership team and then do the same with your front line employees. You will be amazed what that can do for your company!