Home » Insights » Team Coaching » Effective leadership teams outperform even the most effective individual leaders. Every time. In almost every context.

Effective leadership teams outperform even the most effective individual leaders. Every time. In almost every context.

A study by Bain of 1,250 companies found that those with highly effective top teams outperform their competition in revenue growth, profitability, and total shareholder returns. 

Interestingly, the study found that it’s not the individual leader’s ability to lead others or develop highly talented individuals with deep expertise and all the right experiences that make the biggest difference. It’s not even the individual leader’s ability to lead others. What makes the biggest difference is a top team’s ability to act—to behave—as a collective.

This was brought home to me recently when working with the leadership team who described themselves as “a group of sole traders who meet every Thursday to sign-off on key policies.”  They were a long way away from the shared accountability model for the success of the firm that the CEO had in mind.

They are not alone. 

Teams don’t magically coalesce overnight; and reference to team in the title (Executive Team, Senior Leadership Team etc) does not make it so. It takes deliberate effort to bring together a diverse group of individuals who may work at cross purposes and replace competitive behaviours with functional coherence and focus.  

Team coaching interventions which are grounded in real organisation challenges are effective in creating routines and ways of working that resolve the top three challenges teams’ encounter. It has a built-in feedback loop to shine the torch on where assumptions and blind spots are getting in the way of peak performance. 

  1. Purpose: The number one reason that teams are not effective is that their collective purpose and direction is unclear. Using methodologies such as “The Four Questions” can unearth misalignments and create a shared direction. 
  • Performance: Having a shared objective to become a high performing team who has each other’s backs sets a clear direction for what and how this team performs. And acting as though it is already true. “What would a high performing team do now?” As this embeds, the leader must take a clear stand for the new ways of working and recognise positive impact and hold colleagues accountable accordingly. 
  • Prioritise collaboration: Cultivate a “win-together, lose-together” mentality that’s grounded in personal and professional relationships. This will establish the psychological safety to innovate, create constructive conflict and provide feedback. Strained relationships? Create opportunities to work together, travel as a group, co-sponsor key projects to encourage alignment on key initiatives. 

Teams generally are the locus of performance and culture in all organizations, and top teams are uniquely positioned to be a role model for how teams can work well together. Without team effectiveness, companies won’t achieve their full potential results. Long term success of the team depends on the strength of the leadership and on the collective efforts of the team in pulling together to make it happen.  

So, if you want your business to succeed, focus on building a strong leadership team that can work together effectively. It could be the key to taking your business to the next level. 

About Aziz Corporate

Aziz was founded over 40 years ago by Khalid Aziz, a media pioneer of his day who at 21 became the youngest ever appointed BBC producer.

About Caroline Hughes

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