Are you struggling to build a high-performing leadership team?
Thomas Keil, D.SC., an expert on teams, shares valuable insights on creating and managing successful leadership teams. Thomas is a professor at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, where he teaches strategy and international management, and a partner at The Next Advisors.
In this episode, Thomas reveals that CEOs cannot achieve success without a strong team behind them. He emphasizes the importance of understanding how top-performing CEOs build teams that drive their agenda and lead their companies to success. Keil also highlights that there is no single recipe for a high-performing team, as different approaches can be equally effective.
Take action now and listen to the Excellent International Leadership Podcast episode featuring Thomas Keil. Your journey towards building a high-performing team starts here.
What You’ll Learn From this Episode:
- Learn the importance of building a strong team behind a CEO for success.
- Find out how to identify toxic behavior within a team and take appropriate action.
- Understand the impact of culture on leadership team dynamics and decision-making processes.
“…when you talk to CEOs and when you look a little bit more closely, what you really see is that that individual can do in the end nothing without a strong team behind him or her.” – Thomas Keil
02:08 – Learn why leadership teams are crucial and how they can be created to drive organizational success.
03:17 – Explore the different recipes for building a top-performing team and find the approach that suits your organization best.
04:52 – Uncover the power of collaboration and competition in creating a strong and balanced team.
11:19 – Identify toxic behavior within a team and learn how to address it to maintain a healthy and productive environment.
14:47 – Discover strategies to keep your leadership team relevant and continuously evolving.
16:58 – Recognize the importance of refreshing your team over time to avoid stagnation and maintain innovation.
18:29 – Gain insights into the dynamics of leadership teams and how decision-making processes can vary across cultures.
20:44 – Connect with Thomas Keil on LinkedIn and explore his book, “The Next Leadership Team,” for further guidance on building high-performing teams.
Connect with Thomas Keil:
More Impactful Episodes at https://mkbconseil.ch/eil-podcast/
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Problems of an international leader answered in this episode:
- The Importance of Leadership Teams In this episode, we discuss why leadership teams are crucial for the success of organizations and how top-performing CEOs build strong teams around themselves.
- Ingredients of a High-Performing Team We explore the different ingredients necessary for creating a high-performing team and discuss examples of teams that excel through competition, collaboration, or a balance of both.
- Aligning Team and Organizational Culture We delve into the link between the organization’s culture and the leadership team, discussing how CEOs can combine the team and the culture to drive success.
- Intervening to Improve Team Performance Using real-life examples, we explore how to identify and address issues within a team that hinder performance and discuss strategies for intervention and improvement.
- Dealing with Difficult Team Members We discuss the challenges of managing difficult team members, including “brilliant jerks,” and provide recommendations on how to handle such situations effectively.
- Sustaining Leadership Team Performance Over Time We share insights on how to keep a leadership team performing at a high level over time, including the importance of alignment, continuous development, and periodically refreshing the team.
- Cultural Differences in Leadership Teams We examine the impact of culture on leadership teams, comparing the decision-making styles and dynamics in different countries such as the US, Sweden, Germany, and Switzerland
- The Role of Coaching in Team Development We discuss the role of coaching in developing high-performing teams, including how coaching can help individuals become aware of their behavior and make positive changes.
- Recognizing Toxic Behavior in Teams We explore the signs of toxic behavior within teams and discuss the importance of addressing and removing individuals who are openly working against the team’s agenda.
The Next Leadership Team: Strategies for Building and Leading Successful Teams with Thomas Keil
In today’s fast-paced and competitive business landscape, effective leadership is crucial for organizational success. However, it is important to recognize that leadership is not a one-person show. Behind every successful CEO, there is a strong team working collaboratively towards a common goal. In this blog post, we will explore the insights shared by Thomas Keil, an expert on teams, regarding the importance of leadership teams and how to create high-performing teams.
The Power of Leadership Teams
According to Thomas Keil, while CEOs often take the spotlight, they cannot achieve success without a strong team supporting them. Keil’s research focuses on understanding how top-performing CEOs build teams that drive their agenda and lead their companies to success. He emphasizes that leadership is a team sport, and the collective efforts of a well-functioning team are essential for achieving organizational goals.
Ingredients of a High-Performing Team
Keil’s research challenges the notion of a single recipe for team success. He highlights that different approaches can lead to high-performing teams. Some teams thrive on competition, where strong individual performers drive their respective areas of responsibility. Netflix, under Reed Hastings, is an example of a team of stars, where ambition and competition fuel their success.
On the other hand, some teams prioritize collaboration and focus on the collective success of the organization. These teams, often found in single-product domains, prioritize the company’s overall performance over individual achievements. The Finnish internet security company, Secure, exemplifies this approach.
Additionally, Keil notes that some leaders strike a balance between competition and collaboration. They create teams that can compete when necessary but also collaborate when it benefits the organization. This approach is often seen in complex organizations such as large banks or consumer goods companies.
Aligning Teams with Organizational Culture
Keil emphasizes the importance of aligning the leadership team with the organization’s culture. While leaders may have personal preferences for team dynamics, they must consider the dominant culture within the company. Keil suggests that CEOs should select team members who fit well with the existing culture. However, he also acknowledges that culture can be changed over time if the CEO has a strong vision and can convince the organization to embrace it.
Intervening to Improve Team Performance
Keil shares examples of how he has helped teams overcome challenges. In one case, a CEO struggled with a team of high-performing individuals who failed to collaborate effectively. By identifying the root cause, Keil was able to implement strategies to encourage collaboration, such as introducing financial incentives for constructive feedback. Another example involved analyzing toxic behavior within a team and making necessary changes, including removing individuals who were resistant to collaboration.
Dealing with Difficult Team Members
When faced with a brilliant but difficult team member, Keil suggests coaching as a potential solution. Sometimes, individuals may not be aware of their behavior and can benefit from coaching to improve their interpersonal skills. However, if the person consistently displays toxic behavior and shows no willingness to change, Keil advises that it may be necessary to part ways with them, as brilliant jerks can negatively impact the entire organization.
Sustaining High Performance
Keil emphasizes the importance of continuous effort to maintain a high-performing leadership team. This includes keeping the team aligned amidst ongoing challenges and changes, as well as ensuring team members remain relevant and engaged. Over time, leaders should consider rotating responsibilities and introducing fresh perspectives to prevent stagnation.
Building a high-performing leadership team is a critical aspect of effective leadership. Thomas Keil’s insights highlight the importance of team dynamics, alignment with organizational culture, and ongoing efforts to sustain performance. By understanding the various approaches to team building and implementing strategies to address challenges, leaders can create teams that drive organizational success.