CFHP Center for High Performance
Issue No. 23 October 16, 2013
Susan_Annunzio

Companies can only be as high performing as their senior team. Consequently, when we�re asked to work with organizations to improve their results, we focus on the leadership team.

We know the team is making progress when members move from:

  • Focusing on �what we have accomplished� to �why we exist�;

  • Leading �my� area to leading �our� organization;

  • Minimizing conflict to resolving conflict;

  • Offering input on �your� decision to collectively making �our� decisions;

  • Speeding up to get work done to slowing down to increase the impact of our work.

In this newsletter, you�ll read about two dynamic, successful leaders who believe high performance depends on �we,� not �me.� Also read about CfHP's new partnership to prepare diverse leaders for life in the C-Suite, including how to create "we" teams.

Best wishes,

Patrick Lencioni on teamwork

Learn what management expert Patrick Lencioni says about "Team #1."

Watch more CfHP videos.

Organizations thrive when leaders put company first

Just because you have star players on your senior team doesn�t necessarily mean you have a stellar team. If those stars put their personal interests first, the organization suffers.

According to John Rau, CEO of Miami Corp., �There�s a lot of evidence that how teams within companies operate is as big a predictor of success as strategy or anything else.� Rau also has served as CEO of Chicago Title and Trust Co. and other companies, and as dean of the Indiana University School of Business.

Rau said that early in his career he was working at a relatively large bank where a succession race for CEO was underway. The employees were divided into camps depending on which succession candidate they worked for. �Making your boss look good and the other guy�s boss look bad was more important that what was good for the company,� he recalled.

Irene Thompson had a similar experience. She was president and CEO of the University of Kansas Medical Center for more than a decade before she joined UHC as CEO and president six years ago. She found that employees, including senior VPs at the organization � an alliance of academic medical centers and their affiliated hospitals � took ownership and showed loyalty to their own programs, not to the organization.

"It took a while to understand that I wasn�t getting an organizational perspective from my senior team,� said Thompson, who was named one of the top 25 women in the healthcare field by Modern Healthcare magazine in August.

The result of this internal competition was that people stated their opinions and then walked away. �They had no ownership of the decisions,� she said. �Leaders were on their own; others weren�t engaged in offering ideas for improvement.�

Even though three new people joined her president�s cabinet last year, �the culture is in the walls. ... We�ve spent the last eight months working with the Center for High Performance to recognize this as a problem and try to break it down.�

According to Rau, when three factors are aligned � accountability, authority and performance measures � �people will chase the external competition. Otherwise, they�ll get bogged down in internal politics," he said.

Equally important is for the people at the top to display collaborative behaviors. �People treat what senior people do as what�s really accepted,� Rau said, noting that the CEO has the most leverage in influencing teamwork. In addition, people watch who gets promoted, he said. If the people who get promoted are out for themselves, it doesn�t matter what you�re saying about teamwork. If those individuals are not pushed out, that also sends a message, Rau added.

A CEO since 1982, Rau takes the view that it doesn�t matter how technically good or proficient someone is. �If they are high maintenance and self absorbed, I don�t want them on the team,� he said. �All it takes is one or two of those people to undermine the performance of everyone else. No one person is worth the virus of �divahood.�"

Thompson added that if senior leaders are not engaged in the organization as a whole, their teammates don�t have the advantage of others� ideas and perspectives. �One person alone is not as good as a group,� she concluded.

QUICK LINKS

CEOcraft® prepares diverse candidates to ascend to C-suite

The Center for High Performance has embarked on an exciting new partnership to help companies prepare highly skilled diverse candidates for life in the C-suite.

CfHP President and CEO Susan Lucia Annunzio; Youngblood Executive Services CEO Ava Youngblood, and John Rau, President and CEO of Miami Corp. and former CEO of LaSalle Bank and Chicago Title Corp., have created CEOcraft®, an elite experience for individuals identified by their companies as C-suite succession candidates.

Based on the conviction that diverse leaders drive innovation and are critical for business success, CEOcraft® will help companies create a pipeline that reflects U.S. workforce demographics. By preparing the next generation of C-level talent, CEOcraft® helps companies avoid the high cost of executive turnover.

Given the demographic realities of fewer eligible executives and increasing demand, it is more important than ever for corporations to draw from a broader range of well-qualified candidates.

CEOcraft® is unique in that it is not a �mini-MBA� where participants study topics such as strategy, marketing or business theory. Rather, CEOcraft® attendees will receive candid, objective feedback about their emotional intelligence, leadership style and executive presence. They will participate in real-time simulations of life in the C-suite, giving them an opportunity to experience a high-performance leadership environment. Participants will have personal access to CEO mentors and specialized coaches.

Cohorts will be limited to 15 attendees (Blacks, Asians, Latinos, White males, Women, etc.) with only one participant per industry. The program consists of four 2-1/2 day modules within an 8-month period, as well as quarterly follow up.

The next CEOcraft® session begins Jan. 14, 2014.

For more information about CEOcraft®, please contact Susan Lucia Annunzio at lucia@centerforhighperformance.com or 312-493-0311.

CFHP Center for High Performance

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