Board and Top Team Development

"Something we were withholding made us weak, until we found it was ourselves."

Robert Frost

For boards and top teams who see higher levels of knowledge and skills as the prerequisite to improved performance and results, LtEI can support this. However, in our experience, top teams are already more than capable in the core skills of strategic leadership. The intellectual fire-power, coupled with the functional experience of its members is considerable and impressive. Intellectually, top teams already know what it takes to make a high performing top team; yet very few have the commitment and staying power to openly say and actively do what it takes to become one.

Most boards and top teams don't fail or function ineffectively at this intellectual level. Many of the issues top teams face are more subtle; often unspoken, unseen and unheard. Hidden agendas, unhealthy competitiveness and personal ambition are criticisms sometimes levelled at top teams; both from the outside and within the team itself. Perhaps this isn't surprising given that, for many senior managers and directors, 'reaching the top' and outperforming their peers was pre-programmed and instilled many years before. The rewards for talent, hard work, and often personal sacrifice should always be recognised, but for top teams who are willing to acknowledge that some things are not quite right in the team, the breakthrough moment comes with the realisation that what gets you to the top won't always work at the top. Enhanced skills and knowledge won't matter unless there is openness, honesty and trust within the team and in some cases, even a shift in attitudes, beliefs and values.

If asked … how would your organisation's people define its top team? Would they describe it in a way that you would want them to? Would they even see you as a team … committed to a common purpose, supportive, approachable, positive, safe, honest, ethical and capable of bringing success to the organisation?

How does the top team see itself? Is it resilient? Does it confront difficult and often personal issues or default to 'uncomfortable silences'? Is it willing to talk about and deal with emotional issues? Does it handle ambiguity and have mutual trust and respect among all of its team members? Is there unconditional support within the team? Are the relationships strong? Does the team enjoy working with each other? Is everything in place to bring outstanding results? Does the team demonstrate all of these … but still believes it can get even better as a team?

We know that most teams don't deliver outstanding results. Your team may be an exception but in many cases, among the teams we work with, they fail to achieve outstanding results not because they are a 'poor team' but because they are 'already a good team'. By not making that final push to peak performance, they suffer from what Pierre Casse describes as the "tyranny of the average". For leaders who believe in teams, being below average is uncommon but leaders can always take the line of least resistance and simply recruit smarter and more experienced replacements rather than embark on the process of achieving peak performance with the talent and commitment locked up within the present team.

There is no fixed training programme or a set process that can resolve this. Working with diversity, resolving conflict, strengthening relationships and building trust among very different personalities are the true measures of quality leaders and great teams. How resilient we are in rising to these challenges define us, both as a leader and as a person. To move forward with LtEI, team members must be willing to be actively involved in the experiences a LtEI intervention will create. The team must be able to reflect, be comfortable with discomfort, give and receive feedback and use their analytical skills to conceptualise the experience whilst undertaking it, and possess the decision making and problem solving skills in order to use the new ideas gained from the experience. With this approach, our support and these values, your team can move forward, build a stronger team and enjoy the process of achieving it together.

Please contact us to discuss how we can create this leadership experience together.


Leadership Courses

Course Dates

Leadership Training Customised Programmes

For organisations and teams with specific objectives requiring a personalised and tailored intervention.

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Leadership Training Open Programmes

A comprehensive range of courses for directors, senior managers, middle-managers and emerging leaders. Open to individuals, groups and organisations.

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Leadership Training Executive Coaching

Personalised, 'one-to-one' coaching from our team of experienced international coaches.

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Leadership Training Specialist Workshops

Specialised, interactive workshops exploring a leadership theme central to an organisation or team's needs at this time.

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Board Development Image Right

"Most teams
the value of getting
away from the pressures
of the business to think, talk
and review the business strategy
from a different perspective. Just as
important is the opportunity to get to know
team members better and strengthen personal
relationships and build trust. This isn't always easy
and the presence and input of an external facilitator with
a different perspective is invaluable. Specifically, our sessions
with LtEI helped us to successfully manage some difficult business
situations in 2011. Our Leadership Team operated throughout as one team,
trusting each other and understanding how we act and react in challenging situations.
We learned how to deal with this as a mutually supportive team thanks to the LtEI programmes we went through together."

Zsuzsanna Tóth
Head of HR
British American Tobacco (Hungary and Austria)

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