Leadership teams that play at their best are very clear about the role that each leader plays in the executive team and holds individual members accountable to that role.
This is more than the functional role a leader plays in the executive team, rather the role that each leader fulfils as a member of the leadership team.
The Balanced Player Matrix is not an exhaustive collection of leadership roles, yet it stimulates meaningful discussions about how leaders see their role and what executives should expect from each other to create a high performing leadership team.
The functional fanatic defends their business function above all. Admirable to a point, but an executive that serves their function over larger organization interests will hurt the team, and business performance over time.
The committee comrade is everyone’s friend and values group harmony above all. Yet a need for harmony can prevent a leadership team from confronting difficult issues. High performing leadership teams storm, and do so in a constructive and respectful way. Being too nice can lead to friendly avoidance, a dangerous state for any leadership team.
The pie in the sky strategist is creative and forward thinking, yet is often too far from reality to bring tangible opportunities into the team or business.
The operational addict is an executive that has often worked their way up from the bottom, knows the business better than anyone else and, at times, steps deeply into the business, sometime to the harm of others that report to them.
The balanced player has something of all four characteristics, practices each in a balanced way and puts the interests of the overall business ahead of personal agendas, functional interests or their pathway to past successes.
What leadership types are present in your executive team? How do these attributes help or hurt you as a team that aspires to play at its best?
Striving to create a team of balanced players is a constructive step towards becoming a highly effective leadership team.