Checking in on your first team
Reflect and reconnect for greater impact
As a member of a senior leadership team, you know that the pressure is as high as ever – and perhaps expectations have never been greater. As leaders, we’re now simultaneously keeping our clients and people safe, adjusting how, when and where we deliver our products and services, and realigning our operations and interactions with customers to meet changing demands. And we’re doing this while leading our people through unsettling changes in ways that we hope will reassure, inspire, connect and engage.
It’s no wonder that even the highest performing of leadership teams needs to check-in with each other to refresh, refocus, reconnect and realign more often than we ever have before. When was the last time your “first team” paused, reflected and reset?
One of the executive teams I work with have recently done just that in the lead-up to a busy and successful end-of-financial year. Over an informal, low key lunch, the conversation was based on two question sets aimed at bringing them closer and aligning their evolving leadership stories, personally and collectively.
Given your leadership team might also find value in sharing the answers, I’d like to share the questions we used here with you. They sparked some lively debate, thoughtful sharing, laughter and some heart-felt moments. And most importantly, the discussion continued to fortify the bonds and positive energy around the table.
Each leader picked out a question card from a basket that was passed around. Reading it aloud, they posed that question to another leader at the table, so that everyone had a chance to both ask and answer. Here are the questions.
- In the next 12 months, what will be our most significant leadership challenge as an executive?
- What has been our best defining moment/s as a leadership team over the last 6 months?
- What are we getting better at as a leadership team?
- What’s one leadership lesson you’d like to pass to other leaders in our organisation
- Where are we a bit stuck as a leadership team at the moment?
- What’s one thing we could do better as a leadership team?
- What’s the most ‘way out’ idea for how we might boost our visibility as leaders across the organisation?
- What is the leadership superpower of each person around this table, in your view?
- What has been one experience so far that has helped shape you as a leader?
- What do you want this leadership team to become known for?
- What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
- What’s your best scar story?
- If you could write a book, what would its title be?
- What’s a skill you have that most people don’t know about?
- What’s the most exciting thing you have planned on your bucket list?
- What’s something very few people know about you?
- What’s one thing you’d never want to part with?
- What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done?
- What is your favourite board game and what has it taught you?
- If you could do absolutely anything in the world for the next 24 hours, what would it be?
- Would you rather travel back in time to meet your ancestors or to the future to meet your descendants?
- What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken, and what did you learn from it?
Enjoy! I hope this brings your first team closer and realigns focus for the weeks ahead.
* First team is a term coined by Patrick Lencioni referring to the team in which you’re a member – not the team you lead.