Perfect Harmony or Chaotic Cacophony? – Which Describes Your Management Team?

Strong managers are often inspired, visionary, industrious, energizing and can display integrity, leadership, common sense and courage – while weak ones may micro-manage, set weak goals and belittle their people.

What’s also critical is finding the top talent and ensuring they work hand in glove for the common goal of the business.

We’d all need a few lifetimes to absorb the tomes written about management teams. In a nutshell, you require a robust management team driving and running your business on a day-to-day basis while you as an owner mangers or head of a family run venture work ‘on’ the business – adding value in critical areas.

Serial entrepreneur Stever Robbins stresses how matching jobs to your managers’ skills and strengths is likewise vital – and how the right management team can cover a CEO’s shortcomings. He says: “A CEO may be able to set strategy, predict the future and control the budget, but if they don’t hire the right team, they have to master it all themselves.”

Over my decades of experience as a business strategist and performance coach who has added £110 million to the bottom line of a select number of owner-managed and family run businesses in the last decade alone, I know that – irrespective of how good your top team is, they need to work in harmony and pull in the same direction.

Does your management team sing in perfect harmony or march to different drums?

To ensure the former follow my Five Key Priorities approach:

  • Take your three-year vision and break it down into 12 quarterly targets/objectives.
  • For the next quarter, list the Five Key Priorities that you need to focus on in order to bring the three-year vision closer to reality.
  • Rank the priorities in order of importance.

Share your priorities with your senior management team, question if they think these are the key areas of focus on over the next 90 days – and listen carefully to their responses.

After you’ve had this feedback, ask them to go and complete their own Five Key Priorities for themselves and the business.

Next, be ready to:

  • Coach your top executives about the key issues for them individually and the company.
  • Tie their suggestions back to the quarterly and three-year goals you have for the organisation.

And remember, it’s not your intention to hold your top team responsible for these priorities… they should be self-accountable.

At the next meeting of your senior colleagues, have them collectively review each submission while avoiding passing judgement on anything others have said.

Be prepared to be amazed, as, for the first time, everyone in your top team will:

  • Know what’s important for them,
  • Understand the impact of their actions on other team member, and
  • Avoid throwing obstacles in front of colleagues.

In my experience the problem for many management teams is they lack a common cause and are running towards different goals or have no objectives at all. By focusing their minds on the priorities, you eliminate these problems.

For help with setting and implementing your own Five Key Priorities programme, e-mail me via, send me a tweet via @RichardWhatIf on Twitter, or find me on LinkedIn.

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