Thinking of stacking your leadership team to go for the big win? It’s a tempting tactic to stack your leadership team with similar styles, especially when a particular style is well suited for your industry or business. But it isn’t a strong long-term team building strategy.
Working to understand your leadership style so you understand how you relate to others is critical to building your team. When working with entrepreneurs and executives, I often get asked “Wouldn’t it make sense then to stack the team?”
It’s easy to understand where this question comes from. If one leadership style gets good results, wouldn’t more of that same style get even better results? Especially when leaders watch their favorite sports teams do the same to go for the championship victory.
The short answer is no.
Having a leadership team composed entirely of the same leadership style may get you short-term results, which is why sports teams use it toward the end of their season if it looks like they have a chance at the big game. But it lacks a few essential qualities that make up a strong team in the business world.
Each of the four leadership quadrants, explained in detail in the previous leadership post, have tremendous strengths and challenges. Stacking your leadership team with one particular style narrows the focus of your team, in essence making your leadership blind in the other areas.
The strongest team is not comprised of all pitchers, quarterbacks or forwards.
A diverse and dynamic leadership team requires having complementary leadership styles to gain a wider perspective. This is critical when you are trying to grow the business, or come up with new innovations. You need to hear ALL the voices, even if you don’t like them, in order to come up with the best ideas and solutions going forward.
This is doubly true when your company is facing a serious challenge. If everyone on your leadership team looks at the problem the same way, you are all going to come up with the same answer. You need to have leaders looking at the problem from an entirely different perspective to get a balanced view.
When you skew the leadership roster, even just a little in one direction, you close yourself off to hearing those voices. What happens when you have a majority of one style and a few token representatives of the others is those minority voices get drowned out or ignored.
The minority leadership styles become marginalized as the dominant leadership group disregards or out votes their voice. Saying “It’s a democracy so therefore we win!” is not the way to benefit from their perspective. You have to listen to those other perspectives whether or not you agree with them!
Benefits of Diversity in Leadership Styles
Companies that invite the other leadership styles to the table eagerly, and listen to their perspective willingly will benefit from a deeper understanding. This doesn’t mean you need to follow their advice simply because they offer a different perspective. It does mean you need to factor in what you learn from their approach. They often have a beat on the next phase or game changing idea!
Building your company on a dynamic, well-rounded leadership team with strong, relevant skills will get the best result in the long run. These companies are able to innovate better, adapt to change faster and problem solve seamlessly because they are working from a complete perspective.
Need help diversifying your leadership styles? Call me to set up your leadership intensive!