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Creating a united leadership team is a must for every organization. This write-up discusses some CCO principles to help you achieve this aim with minimal fuss.
As a CCO (Chief Customer Officer), your job curtails satisfying your customers’ needs. But, what about the internal customers, i.e., your peers, including CEOs (Chief Executive Officer) and CFOs (Chief Financial Officer). Your job is to ensure that the leadership team, including the CEOs (Chief Executive Officer) and CFOs (Chief Financial Officer), is united.
Just imagine for a second, you are doing some work to satisfy your customers’ needs, and the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) walks in and tells you, –What can I do to support your work? It might seem a trifle, and you might be happy to tell them about it. But, if you think about it, this type of work often stalls out because of many decision-makers.
The problem is the work that you are telling them is their work too! This is what a united leadership team is all about. The aim of any organization should be to have united leadership with a single pretext.
Most organizations talk about being customer-centric, but most get it wrong. The reason is that most of the time, an organization’s core values stay hung on a wall. They are living the truth. The leaders need to ensure that it is followed; otherwise, all the hard work goes down in the dump.
While team members are always under pressure to stay productive, the leadership is under greater pressure to perform! Results and achievement are always a priority for them. Leadership teams rarely get time for informal bonding due to these pressures and responsibilities, which is among the top characteristics of a formidable team.
Keeping this in mind, whoever is in charge of the senior team meetings should include a few get-to-know-you segments on the agenda (it works best at the start). Another option is to assign each team member with the duty of learning something unique about another team member’s personal life outside of work and reporting back to the rest of the group. There are many methods for promoting informal bonding. Simply put, be creative.
Apart from building informal relationships with the team members, the leadership also has the duty of conducting frequent planning and review meetings. When conducting these meetings, one very important thing to keep in mind is to make sure that all the team members feel included and are given the right space to share their views and opinions.
Reviewing the growth regularly is a terrific way to see and understand ‘what is working and what is not’,’ and this knowledge is valuable when making strategic decisions. Encouraging employees to ask questions and share their opinions will bring new perceptions to solve a problem and make expansion plans. Opening windows to share views, cross-silo dialogue exchanges, discussing progress and appreciations should also be included in such meetings.
Promoting diversity and encouraging inclusion are extremely important for phenomenally successful teams. There is evidence that organizations with greater diversity are more innovative and creative.
Diverse teams will bring different perspectives and larger ideas to the table. Considering all this, it is very important for you, as a leader, to embrace diversity.
As a leader, you must have your views and opinions open and think from different perspectives before making a decision. Working closely with individual members of the team is an effective way to gain perspectives. It is advised to find different instances where two or three team members can operate as co-leaders rather than appointing one person to own or sponsor the effort. This will involve cross-team collaboration, which can help to break down divisional barriers. There should also be an emphasis on the ‘its-not-my-job’ mentality among the team members, and they should come together and consider the task an equal opportunity. Such corporations can be very efficient in solving or managing complex tasks.
Values are among the few things that bring people together. The same applies to leaders as well–leaders with similar values bond well despite the difference in their leadership approach and style. Values such as transparency, trust, and respect are very important for the overall success of the team. As a leader, create a list of values and ensure that the rest of the team also follows them. Along with values, you can also benefit from setting a behavioral tone for your organization.
When working as a team, each individual must act towards a common goal, rather than on their interest. To encourage such a spirit, make sure that you emphasize more on shared goals during leadership team meetings as the leader. Make it a point to focus more on the organization’s direction than on how each business unit is doing operationally.
Now, also keep in mind that having a shared goal is not just about productivity; it also speaks a lot about your leadership. Shared goals also mean that the entire leadership team is united under a single mission and purpose.
Appreciating work and contribution towards a goal is quite important when working in a group! They do two things for you—1. Keep the team’s morals high, and 2. Boost their accountability. Teams and/or team that is appreciated for their work done are encouraged to perform better.
Just simple words of appreciation like ‘excellent work, team!’ would work wonders. So, our advice to you is never to forget to applaud brilliant ideas or the achievement of goals. You can even schedule a lunch or supper to celebrate tremendous achievements so that everyone on the team can celebrate together. 20
When you are working as a CCO, your role is to ensure that everyone in the organization is working to make the life of customers easy. That includes the leadership team, too. When you set common goals with the leadership team and work towards them, you create a united leadership team for your organization.
Lakshmi Kshatriya is a customer success professional with over 18 years of experience in business operations, business development & account management in diverse industries like information technology & entertainment. She has been implementing marketing strategies; analyzing trends and results for improved customer success.
Published 14 Feb 2022, Updated 14 Feb 2022
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