I'm pretty behind on my reading as I've been getting T+D's new, double-stuff Intelligence column out the door for March. We've expanded from three to six pages for that month (some months it may be four or five). I won't be writing it all every month, but will have contributors in addition to my own content--but for March I did most of it.
Anyway, I'll offer a super-duper best-you-might've-missed next week after I catch up on my reading. In the meantime, here's a good tidbit I received in a press release, courtesy of The Driving Force: Lessons in Teamwork from Saturn and Other Leading Companies (2004, Xephor Press, www.xephorpress.com).
Characteristics and Tell-Tale Actions of Effective Executive Team Leaders
1. Facilitative Style: Achieve results through others; encourage discussions, collaboration and debates; recognize team results to nurture a team approach; require information sharing across groups.
2. Strategic Thinker: Strive for alignment; explore the vision, mission, and organizational direction; keep the pieces linked together; articulate the big picture; link team to other organizations or environmental situations to drive alignment; crate a vision and strategy for the organization.
3. Business Focused: Focus on measurable results; build interdependence and teamwork; reward performance.
4. Results Oriented: Demand results to get results; implement plans and monitor performance; delve below the surface to get to the root cause; explore various angles to trigger meaningful discussion and debate; set direct, clear expectations; take personal responsibility for initiating change.
5. Skilled Communicator: Initiate and prompt discussions; encourage dialogue; facilitate debates; spend meeting time wisely; “stir the pot” if necessary to flush out disagreements; evaluate team membership.
6. Relationship Driven: Show care for members of the team; use a personal touch with the other leaders; create strong relationships and a foundation of trust; encourage learning and risk taking; stimulate a team’s growth; trust and empower others.
7. Sense of Urgency: Balance impatience with high quality standards; do the right things right; model a sense of urgency; create energy in others to generate outstanding results; refuse to protect the status quo; institute continuous improvement as an operating value.
8. Alignment: Engage individuals until issues are worked out; connect the need for change with performance goals and organizational structure; make messages clear to people in terms they can understand and relate to, no matter what their managerial level or background.
9. Tough Love: Confront nonperformance and incompetence; find ways to bring out an individual team member’s greatness; supplement one member’s weakness with another member’s strength.