Building Internal Cohesion and Trust in a Leadership Team
Internal cohesion should begin with the leadership team. If the leadership team is out of alignment with each other, the whole organisation will be at odds with itself, and cultural entropy will be high.
We have found that the biggest single success factor in building a high performance organisation is creating a cohesive leadership team. We have also found this to be the factor that organisations struggle with the most.
There are three qualities that stand out from all others associated with internally cohesive leadership teams – a shared vision, shared values, and a culture of trust.
There are twelve basic conditions that must be met to create a climate of trust. These are shown in the Trust Matrix below. Teams must master all these components to create a high performing team and a high performing organisation.
Caring: To look out for the well-being of the organisation and all its employees.
Transparency: To be clear about the motivations that lie behind all decision-making.
Openness: To be accepting and receptive to the ideas and opinions of all employees.
Honesty: To be truthful and frank in all interpersonal communications.
Fairness: To act without bias, discrimination or injustice towards all employees.
Authenticity: To be consistent and sincere in thought, word and action at all times
Skills: To accomplish professional tasks with ease, speed and proficiency.
Knowledge: To be very familiar and conversant in a specific topic or professional subject matter.
Experience: To accumulate practical knowledge through personal observation.
Reputation: To be held in favourable esteem by bosses, peers and subordinates.
Credibility: To consistently articulate ideas in a convincing and believable manner.
Performance: To discharge personal responsibilities with accomplishment and excellence.
1Developed by Richard Barrett and inspired by the work of Stephen M.R. Covey, The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, Free Press, New York, 2006, pp. 43-58.