The Importance of Trust in Executive Teams
Executive teams are challenging to recruit, lead and manage. You want excellent leaders who are also team players. Figureheads who have the common touch. Individuals bold enough to take risks, yet sensible enough not to put their foot in it with the press.
The challenges that I'm asked to help exec teams overcome vary (motivating people, winning customers, financial performance) but what is common is that what often surfaces is a lack of trust. If you’ve re-mortgaged your home to set the business up, it’s understandable that you might worry about letting other directors take the lead in your absence, but what risks does this lack of trust present to your business?
If you’ve re-mortgaged your home to set the business up, it’s understandable that you might worry about letting other directors take the lead in your absence, but what risks does this lack of trust present to your business?
1. An inability to make well-informed strategic decisions
If every long-term decision falls to you, your exec team may feel that they cannot share their experiences and insights. If you want to make decisions based on a true picture of how your business is operating, you need the whole team’s views.
2. Opportunities going undiscovered
A healthy exec team will feel able to voice their opinions and put forward ideas without fear of ridicule. A team of “yes men” will take you nowhere new; a team who can contribute and usefully challenge one another’s thinking could give you a priceless breakthrough.
3. The risk of losing great people
As a founder or business owner you are better placed than most to understand what makes senior leaders tick, and you should know what personally motivates everyone in your team. There is only so much you can pay, and do you really want someone that’s only there for the money? Your challenge is to make your team feel so personally invested that they can’t be bought by someone else.
4. Reduced market value
No doubt you have a plan at some point to exit your business, and if you do, then you’ll have a value in mind. How far are you from that today? Part of a strong market valuation is demonstrating that the business is self-sufficient. If you’re not letting your leadership team take the reins, then you’re probably not ready.
5. Executive handcuffs
Assuming that you have the above exit strategy in mind, do your exec team know? If they don’t, why not? Being upfront about what you ultimately, personally, want to achieve gives you the opportunity to succession plan, and gives your exec team the ability to do what you’ve hired them to do: run the business.
A failure to be upfront could leave you handcuffed to the business which will stifle your spirit and hold back the opportunity for the rest of the team to thrive.
A challenging conversation
Overcoming issues of trust can sometimes involve challenging conversations but if you weren't up for a challenge than you wouldn't be an entrepreneur, right? At incredibleresults we've worked with hundreds of senior leaders worldwide to get their businesses in the best shape ever. By facilitating those difficult conversations and respectfully challenging the status quo, we help leadership teams think and act differently to create outstanding business growth.
Trust could be one of your biggest business assets. To find out more, and discuss how incredibleresults could help you, get in touch with the team at firstname.lastname@example.org