I recently facilitated a full-day meeting in which the leaders of an organization gathered to harness their collective power as a team and more strategically align their respective goals, revenue achievement strategies and resources for the greater advancement of the organization. But it wasn’t just about that. It turned out to be an exciting day focused on how to be a better leader and inspire the changes needed to make their organization great.
We discussed topics openly with a positive and supportive tone, challenged each other through honesty, reflected on strengths and gaps, and offered solutions and ideas. It was like brainstorming on steroids. And everyone learned a lot from the experience.
The main thing they realized was how different this was from many of their meetings with staff and with each other, which often had more to do with resolving short-term issues than focusing on growth and how to be a better leader and inspire positive change.
The full-day agenda included three sessions. The goal of the first session was to drive cross-team awareness of each of the leader’s team successes and challenges, and to discuss ways to gain support across the leadership team to help each leader make or exceed their goals. Each leader reviewed:
- Their most significant accomplishment of the year (and many stated more than one)
- Their biggest challenge to date
- Their leadership strategy to offset the challenge
- Ways to help each other attain their goals – to be a better leader and inspire greatness
This was all recorded on a flip chart and the outcomes were listed with dates and names to hold everyone accountable to do what they said they would do in helping each other be the leader they wanted to be.
The second session was more about identifying strengths and weaknesses, zeroing in on areas where each leader needed to improve, and gaining an understanding of how their work is perceived by others. For this session, each leader wrote:
- One word to describe themselves as a leader
- One word to describe each of their peers as a leader
Everyone was pleasantly shocked to learn what others thought of each other. A single word can be so powerful: adaptable, flexible, passionate, insightful, approachable, knowledgeable, creative, loyal and resilient – these were some of the words they used. This exercise helped everyone to clearly understand how much they appreciated being part of this leadership team and how much they relied on each other for support.
In the third session, we took this to the next level in which each leader was asked to chart:
- What they wanted from the team
- What did they wanted from their manager
- What their manager wanted from them
This session was so insightful because the leadership team was able to learn about themselves and each other. There were no discussions about resolving issues. Every conversation focused on how they could be better leaders on their own and as part of a team. They left feeling inspired and knowing they had to think bigger in order to be more effective leaders. And, I left feeling equally inspired as well.
Janice Mars, principal and founder of SalesLatitude, is a senior business and sales executive with more than 30 years of experience helping companies build successful sales teams. She has parlayed that experience to help her clients to improve their sales processes, accurately forecast revenues, ensure focus on winnable opportunities, and attain consistent results. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter
Image courtesy of franky242 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.