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Lead Together

A Program for Building Adaptive Leadership Teams


In a time of radical change, the capacity to lead collaboratively is essential to creating an adaptive, accountable and resilient organization.  There have been a vast variety of experiments in shared leadership over the last forty years, and a lot has been learned, but still there are very few “leadership teams” that lead effectively as a team.  There are many reasons:


  • A lack of clarity about what it should be doing as a team as opposed to as individual leaders

  • A tendency to getting pulled into working within their own silo, and one level too low in the hierarchy because leaders have not developed their own teams.

  • A preference on the part of leaders to working separately and a corresponding lack of skill in collaborative leadership.


Lead Together is a yearlong program which develops leadership teams and the leadership capacity of the team members.  It focuses on four elements:


  • Developing self-awareness as a leader to increase understanding of one’s strengths (which when overdone become one’s greatest weakness) and one’s blind spots (where support from team members is critical).

  • Building relationship, trust and respect among team members which forms the essential fabric of collaboration.

  • Establishing coherent direction and execution by involving senior and middle managers appropriately in strategic planning, implementation planning and progress reviews.

  • Integration of essential leadership practices such as planning, progress reviews, feedback mechanisms such as 360 assessments k customer data, and employee surveys, and performance evaluation.


The rationale for Lead Together is: most leadership teams do not have an individual who watches over all of the above elements from the point of view of developing the team, and the team members.  It is the LeadTogether consultant’s job to do that.  Lead Together consists of the following elements:


  • Team workshops using the DISC and MBTI to provide information to team members to help them understand themselves, their leadership assets and blind spots while deepening their understanding of and trust with other team members.

  • Design and facilitation of the strategic planning and business planning process to maximize the extent to which senior and middle managers understand and support the strategy and are committed to the goals and measures that the planning process produces.

  • Design and facilitation of the quarterly review process in a manner that makes use of the review process as a leadership development event.

  • Training and support:

    • of the feedback component of 360 feedback and employee opinion surveys to increase the probability that the exercises are seen as constructive development activities for individuals as opposed to purely corporate compliance exercises.

    • to establish a performance evaluation friendly culture which increases the likelihood that the reviews produce desired outcomes.


Some Questions to Ponder

  • Do lower level managers and associates see the strategy and organizational goals as something they understand, own, and have had a chance to discuss, or are they just imposed?

  • How about the budget?

  • When employee opinion results are presented, are they discussed?  Is it a real discussion?  Do managers and employees believe the purpose is to actually improve the workplace, or is it to achieve scores that will not lead to trouble?

  • When 360 surveys are used in the company, are they viewed as an opportunity to improve, or viewed with some suspicion?

  • When goals are set for performance evaluation, do people really own the goals, and see them as a healthy stretch, or are they seen as unrealizable and a paper exercise?

  • When managers meet with their associates, do they to a good job of fostering healthy, problem solving dialogue?  Do they accurately convey information from above? And do they faithfully convey the concerns and needs of their associates up the chain?










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