Category Management: High Performance Leadership Teams


We are always perplexed by this phenomenon.  We have yet to meet an executive or leader who does not profess to believe in the critical impact their Leadership Team has on their success. And yet the same executives and leaders have not taken a moment to understand what makes their Leadership Team more effective and how to improve their competence as a Leadership Team.  And these are very smart executive and leaders we are talking about but this continues to be a blind spot.


Leadership Teams are an entity by themselves who can absolutely be measured and improved.  And without ensuring that they have the competence as a team to tackle the strategic plan you are putting together, the brilliance of the strategic plan will do little to ensure it’s success.  Ensuring that you have a High Performance Leadership Team will!!!               


Here are four key characteristics mentioned by one researcher after thousands of studies:

  • Purpose
  • Governance
  • Relationships
  • Learning

We have spent a lot of time across many organizations and worked with Executive Level teams all the way down to lower levels and have determined that there are a core set of competencies that all High Performance Leadership Teams need to have:

Domain Statement

Change Management

Drives change and continuous process improvement through the organization using knowledge, tools and resources that bring people together to embrace change; thereby accelerating and ensuring the realization of business benefits.




Drives cooperative arrangements in which two or more stakeholders (Internal AND External) work together to adopt shared goals, leverage best practices. and find mutually agreed upon solutions that improve overall performance. Creates effective cross functional / organizational teams to increase alignment and commitment to achieve success. 



Consulting / Problem Solving

Leads key stakeholders and business partners to achieve their business objectives utilizing a facilitative approach to identify business challenges, perform analysis, recommend potential solutions, drive decision making, ensure action is taken and solutions are adopted.





Exploits technology fully to ensure it meets future business needs.  Explores emerging technology such as AI to be able to lead the organization from implementation through Adoption.




Drives idea management by generating new thinking, approaches, and methods, selecting the ones that are most likely to work, implementing these ideas, and then getting these new ideas to spread throughout the organization.



Business, Industry & Enterprise Knowledge

Demonstrates broad business knowledge and skills that are relevant both within and outside the organization. Understands success drivers and operational process flows in the industry. Aware of current governmental and environmental regulations.





Works with business partners and suppliers or customers to identify new markets and expand existing relationships to become a customer or supplier of choice.



Decision Making


Establishes effective decision making frameworks and principles with senior leaders / executives to drive effective decision making across organizational silos.


Domain Statement

Strategic Planning

Develops a strategic plan (3-5 years) and annual plans that are tightly linked and integrated with our business unit partners’ plans to ensure both parties are driven to deliver mutual value.




Includes an “adoption bridge” when introducing new processes, tools, or technology to ensure they are not only implemented but have sustained utilization. 


We end up customizing this list for each client to make sure that it meets their needs and this happens to be the one we just customized for a client.  We will use this to create an assessment tool that will allow each leadership team member to assess the relative importance of each domain to achieving their strategic goals over the next 3-5 years.  We then ask them to assess where they thein the team is today and where it needs to be in the next 12-18 months.  The results then allow the team to align around what are the important domains and what their gaps.  It allows us to create a customized interventions to help them close those gaps as quickly as possible as a team.

A process similar to this is critical if you are looking to have a High Performance Leadership Team and having one is critical to your success.


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