5 Keys to Developing High Performance Executive Teams


strategy (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Some years ago, the former Prime Minister of Singapore Mr Lee Kuan Yew was credited in the papers for making statements on having a strong leadership team along with highly capable and effective individuals to run the country of Singapore. Using the analogy of an orchestra, he describes how countries can continue to function well if they have the right leadership team in place.

Over the years, different strategy analysts have provided their own versions of how to manage and develop high performance executive teams. This article summarises 5 simple keys that you can use as a leader:

Firstly, get your team to conduct a thorough review of a company’s value offering – be it a product or a service. This review will have to encompass market-positioning and know the competition. Teams should use the frameworks like the 7S, 5 Forces, PESTLE, Profit Pools, KSFs, PIMS, etc. to guide their thinking. They need to be on top of things and know where the company is heading if it continues on its current trajectory.

Secondly, craft out: i) vision and ii) its corresponding mission statement, iii) core values, and iv) set out short term, mid term and long term goals, in that order. Alignment of everything else from ii) to iv) to the item preceding it is critical. For e.g., the goals have to be aligned to core values which have to be aligned to the mission statement. This ensures consistency over the long term. Remember that error increases with distance.

Thirdly, check against issues that could result in long-term pitfalls and establish a long term view of its strategies. Ensure that sufficient resources are allocated.

Fourthly, communication – engage in corporate communications strategy to ensure all relevant stakeholders are informed, especially those who are executing the strategies. Targets have to be clear and established. This includes a clear spelling out of roles and responsibilities being played so that everyone knows what is required of them. Communicate during the entire execution so that senior management is kept in the loop. Communicate hiccups if they cannot be resolved in a timely fashion because they will threaten your deadlines and targets.

Lastly, monitor and adjust accordingly. Flexibility is key to achieving the end goal. Remember that it is not about being a self-made maestro, but assembling, developing and managing an entire team of maestros.

“He who wins the team has the game”


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