I am often asked, “How did Marco develop its high performing culture?” My typical response is that it begins with our executive leadership team. Selfishly, we all want to be part of a fun and high-performing culture. We each do our part to make sure our functional area of the business is productive and that we are creating a culture that people want to be a part of.
When I asked our new owners why they bought us, their response was the same - our executive leadership team and its track record of executing.
We have been fortunate enough to have almost all the same players on our executive leadership team since I became CEO in 2006. Our employee survey has consistently ranked our team high in leading the company. In the most recent survey, 98 percent of employees said management is doing a good job running the company.
Obviously, who is on the team matters. But what’s even more important is how the team members work together. So, what does a good leadership team look like? Here are the attributes that I have found make the difference.
Effective executive teams…
- Trust each other to play their position well.
Each player brings distinct skills to the team, and we all trust one another to get the job done. There cannot be a weak person in any core position of operations, finance, sales, marketing, service and technology.
- Respectfully disagree.
Team members are not always going to agree, and I would argue that it’s even quite healthy to have a disagreement, as long as it’s handled well. With any team, disagreements are going to happen and it’s certainly okay to challenge each other. Having respect for one another goes a long way in being effective at conflict resolution.
- Compromise for each other.
It’s not unusual for members of a team to have different ideas and expectations. High- performing team members willingly compromise for one another in pursuit of the common good of the organization. That means they may have to change their thought process to accommodate a group consensus or support another point of view.
- Don’t take credit.
If members of an executive leadership team care about who gets the credit, they’re in the wrong position. Leaders don’t worry about recognition. They’re focused on deflecting it to others. They realize that no one person creates success and the best leaders accept blame and deflect credit.
- Actually have fun together.
I genuinely enjoy hanging out socially with our executive team, and you’ll often find us together after hours - because we want to be. We have team fit and that is critical inside the office and often reflected outside of the office, too. Not everyone has to be best friends, but it’s okay to have fun together.
As the saying goes, it starts from the top. Your leadership team sets the example. The synergy of our team is the catalyst for our fun and high-performing culture, and I know our employees appreciate it because our survey results consistently support that. What does your leadership team look like?