Over the past several months, Nicole, the CEO of a financial services company in New York City, has led her business through unprecedented times. The company has survived — sales and revenues are down, but not disastrously, and she has been able to avoid layoffs.
Increasingly, Nicole is thinking about where the experiences of 2020 are taking her company. More importantly, Nicole is thinking about where she and her senior team want to take the company.
This is an ideal time to review, rethink, and reinvent your organization. Crossroads like this are good because they help us think more intentionally about where we are going. This is true at a personal level (read more in Arden Coaching’s blog post, “What’s My Next Step?”), and it’s true at an organizational level.
Capabilities, Not Just Tactics
Many think of “what’s next?” for their business as, literally, the “what.” New products? New services? New markets? A different business model? Alternative revenue streams?
But think about your organization’s leadership capabilities as well — the skills and talents you will need to successfully execute the new “what’s next” and move forward. Those proficiencies are equally (or perhaps, more) important contributors to future success.
What leadership characteristics will be critical for your business over the next few years? Communication skills? Strategic thinking? Inspiring and motivating others? The ability to take initiative? Building relationships?
Executive coaching is an effective way to build the specific leadership capabilities you require. Coaching is typically structured as a 1:1 program of discovery, development, and transformation. Executive coaches move you through a deliberate process of awareness about your current and possible beliefs and behaviors, building a tangible plan of action, and achieving desired goals with measurable results.
If it is not possible for everyone to engage in 1:1 coaching, consider a hybrid approach to building leadership capabilities. Impressive growth and change can be accomplished by expertly combining executive coaching with group work. While the emphasis is on individual leadership development, this hybrid model employs both group and one-on-one sessions. The two-tier approach helps employees address their personal gaps in leadership and helps assure that leaders in an organization are all “singing from the same sheet of music.”
In addition to leadership capabilities, consider how you will structure your teams going forward. Is the way you have set-up your teams in the past the best way going forward? Almost every aspect of success in an organization relies on team performance. We know what great teams feel like — and we all hate being on teams that aren’t working well.
As you assess your teams, scrutinize how your teams are designed and configured, and how they operate. To successfully improve team performance, consider Patrick Lencioni’s Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ framework. The Five Behaviors process builds effective high performance teams based on a hierarchical model of vulnerability-based trust, engaging in healthy conflict, team commitment, accountability, and focusing on collective results.
What’s Your Mindset About Change?
Back to Nicole. She is an accomplished business leader, and considering her success, she has found herself a bit surprised by the fear and uncertainty she feels about where her company goes from here and how things might turn out. But the fact is, the “next big thing” always feels that way.
The question is, will she allow that fear or unknown about the next thing to stop her? Because ultimately, that feeling is not real — it’s a voice in her head, and she doesn’t have to listen to it. Mindset and attitude are critical.
As the saying goes, “You didn’t come this far to only come this far.” What kind of organizational leadership and team behaviors will you choose next?
To learn more about building the leadership capabilities and high performance teams you’ll need to succeed, contact Arden Coaching at [email protected] or 646.684.3777.