The composition of the so-called “C-suite” has changed over the past 20 years, according to HBR writer Gary L. Neilson. In his work as a consultant, he has seen what works to make the way CEOs interact with their management team successful, and also what causes failure.
Key points that enable a management team to succeed include making sure collaboration and honesty are critical elements of how C-Suite members work together and communicate. Keeping conversations focused on supporting the operating model and the processes that reinforce it are also paramount. Here are 4 keys to successfully managing your management team:
- Listen to the right voices. You can do this by making sure that the person fits the role, not that the role fits the person. The strategy has to be driven forward by people with the proper know-how, not by the people who simply have a voice.
- Reset the rules of the game. All members of the C-Suite have to be focused on overall company performance, not just on their individual business unit or area. Tie compensation to overall performance, not just silo performance.
- Stop being the “Decider in Chief.” CEOs too often make their job to decide all strategic and operational issues. Take yourself out of the majority of all decisions where another member of the management team can be the decider.
- Be prepared to declare “amnesty for the past.” You don’t want your management team constantly defending their course of action and past decisions. Focus on the future, not on the past. If something did not work, don’t force your direct reports to defend it. The past is in the past, and you must only focus on the future and accomplishing your business goals.