A Leadership Team - or Management Team if you prefer - expresses the most important hierarchical level of a company's management or, at least, the highest paid. Therefore, it cannot be limited to a mere management of the relevant corporate issues but must play an exemplary and inspiring role.
The different perspectives and managerial experiences brought to the table are the richness of this body and represent the only opportunity for an authentic verification of the “ cross-functional ” strategic and operational alignments .
Too often it is a team of simple ratification of the "already decided", devoid of a real aspiration to explore the opportunities and potential latent in the company. But the real mistake of some Leadership Teams is to replicate the contrasts and rivalries between Divisions and Departments, sharpening the distance and contradictions that are expressed at the operational level.
A common perspective
What, then, is the main function that such an organism should perform? Simple, that of demonstrating that it is absolutely possible to summarize the conflicting interests in the company, due to the different roles, functions and responsibilities. Differences must represent the fundamental dialectical instance for comparison and shared growth. Each confrontation process must be resolved in a synthesis of the various positions and end with a winning advance in the direction of the full realization of the corporate strategy.
Here, then, is the key role of the Leadership Team: to be the ongoing demonstration of the possibility of overcoming personal visions, not giving up on these, but integrating them in a common and shared perspective. Here is what is meant by " One Voice ". Not a trivial alignment to accommodate an empty accommodation, but a stimulating search for what lies beyond the "team table", to demonstrate that an effective synthesis is not simply the sum of the individual parts, but gives life to something new and wider.
Then, it becomes clearer in what sense the Leadership Team can "play an exemplary and inspiring role": by demonstrating that coherence ( One Voice ) does not mean giving up one's differences, but transforming them into an essential component of the final result, in concert with contributions from other colleagues.
To achieve this goal, it is not necessary that all decisions be taken with unanimous consensus, nor that the minority, even after an unfavorable vote, cannot reaffirm their positions by renewing their arguments. What matters is that no one "works against". Obviously, in the introduction to all of the above, there must be respect and mutual trust . Without these "basic ingredients", there is no chance of success.
But the idea of a One Voice setting doesn't end inside the meeting room, quite the opposite. It develops and takes place concretely out of the context of the meeting. Too often, at the end of the Leadership Team meeting, the various managers return to their respective Departments or Divisions, expressing their opposition to the decisions taken at the meeting to their collaborators, noting their distance from what was deliberated. Obviously their collaborators, due to the "team typhus syndrome", take sides with their "boss", marrying his skepticism and distrust. The One Voice philosophy , on the other hand, requires you to always feel part of the decisions made by the team and to be sponsors and actors.
It is essential that, once a decision is made, everyone works to make it happen. A One Voice approach , if well conceived, becomes a factor of widespread contamination, with the result of growing corporate cohesion , with an inevitable - and positive - impact on performance.