When it comes to achieving a company’s financial and operational goals, how team members relate to one another is just as important as what the team works on. Phil Kleweno, a partner with Bain's Results Delivery® practice and global leader of the firm's Center of Leadership Excellence, outlines the four traits that help leadership teams bring real results: inclusion, trust, commitment and the greater good.
Read the Bain Brief: Getting Teamwork Right at the Top
Read the transcript below.
PHIL KLEWENO: The way that a senior team interacts, collaborates and solves problems together is critical. In other words, how a team relates to each other is just as important as what the team works on. When C-suite leaders rate themselves highly against four specific traits, they are six times more likely to be business performance leaders, defined as outperforming their competition in terms of revenue growth, profit growth, and total shareholder return. So what are these traits?
The first is inclusion. Does...every member of the team feel that they're important, that they're capable of doing their job, and that they're understood? Second is trust. Does each member of the team presume a posture of trust versus control when interacting with each other?
Third is commitment. Is what the leaders say in the room what they do out of the room, and are each of them committed to the unified strategy going forward? And the fourth is greater good. Does the team act upon the greater good of the company or do they make decisions based on what might personally benefit them?
Many teams possess some of these traits, but very few excel at all four. So what we see at Bain is successful leadership teams have a clear alignment on the future they're working toward, have an honest assessment of how they're performing against these four traits, and a willingness to change.