Leadership at the Top Article Overview

Dr. Whitaker reveals that many Top Management Teams (TMTs) are not “real teams” their goals are too intangible, performance expectations are not defined, and there is lack of diversity in leadership skills

What Will this Article do for Me?

  • Identify the attributes of a high-performing Top Management Team (TMT)
  • Uncover the dysfunctional components  that are barriers to success
  • Learn the models, conditions, competencies and behaviors of functional teams
  • Take action on how to increase team building and self-awareness in the TMT

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What conditions are necessary for top management teams to be successful?

Conflict is essential for successful top management teams. Conflict that is productive is defined as differences that are focused on tasks or actions not conflict that accentuates personal dislikes or feelings.

When TMT’s refrain from conflicts that involve egos, personal attributes, and blaming they truly have the right conditions and setting for becoming a highly effective TMT. When conflict is utilized effectively among senior members, the team is ready to engage in quality decision making resulting in a higher level of productivity and cohesiveness within the TMT.

Four behaviors to look for in an effective top manager:

  • A manager’s belief system
  • The desire to continually learn and increase self-awareness
  • The ability to be adaptable and flexible with other team members
  • A personal commitment to leadership growth and development

Leadership Models to Follow

The article explores the leadership models that have been conducted by organizational leadership experts on the successful characteristics and components of effective leadership teams. These leadership models provide guidance for the TMT to enhance their leadership skills and relationships between leaders and followers.

Related:  #5 Barrier to Leadership – Not Believing

Leadership Models include:

  • Collin’s Level 5 Model of Leadership
  • A leadership taxonomy
  • Fiedler’s contingency theory
  • Hersey, Blanchard & Johnson’s situational leadership model

Why do some TMTs Succeed and Others Fail?

The findings from Dr. Whitaker’s research on TMTs reveals that successful TMTs make team building and all aspects of emotional intelligence a priority in their day-to-day activities. TMT leaders learn within the team and rely on others for feedback on personal growth and leadership development.

Egos are not overused resulting in a cohesive teamwork in contrast to individual achievers fighting and jockeying for senior positions. Continuous improvement in TMT functioning is a part of the organization’s strategy and results in these teams outperforming their competitors.

Poor performing TMTs mishandle conflict, misuse power and rely on the recommendations of the CEO instead of cooperatively working together as a team. Dr. Whitaker’s research indicates that low performing TMTs are not interested in personal development, team building initiatives, or emotional intelligence attributes as they believe they have already achieved the leadership skills they need to be a part of the TMT.

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Ron Whitaker
Ron is an accomplished entrepreneur involved in developing multiple businesses from the ground up. He is the co-founder of About Leaders, an author, and a start up consultant and investor. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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