In software world, cohesion is referred to as a degree to which modules belong to each other. If modules have little in common, performs varied activities based on unrelated sets of data, it is a low cohesion software which is difficult to maintain and understand.
Drawing the same analogy for an organization’s leadership, cohesion is the degree to which senior leaders belong to each other and to the collective goal as a team. If senior leadership team is not cohesive, organization runs in different directions and becomes difficult to just sustain, forget about growing further. Building an aligned and cohesive team of leaders is a crucial first step towards building a culture of excellence.
This is a significant challenge, and the one that requires a great deal of introspection. Following questions may help:
1. Are all senior leaders, department heads and second level leaders absolutely convinced and clear about the collective goal?
2. Do they know the organizational value system and do they demonstrate those values through their actions, words and behavior?
3. Have they participated in setting up those goals? Has goal-setting been a collaborative activity?
4. Do they take decisions for greater good of the organization or to simply protect their own departmental fortress?
5. Are they willing and open to disagree with an objective to find optimal solution or they disagree for purely political reasons? Do they avoid conflict by passively agreeing to critical decisions?
6. Do they (really) trust each other? Do they complement or compete with each other?
7. Are they accountable? Are they completely aware of their objective accountability (results, targets etc) and behavioral accountability (attitude, communication, behavior etc)?
8. Do they only focus on results without caring about how those results were achieved?
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Join in the conversation: Have you ever been a part of a cohesive leadership team? What lessons would you like to share? What questions would you add to the list above?
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