I was cleaning out some stuff in my office because we are moving from our apartment in Houston into a Loft and I am downsizing the amount of "stuff in boxes" I will take to the new digs. I have moved lots of boxes many times and it is silly and wasteful.
I found a 20 year old letter that a senior management team crafted and signed. This group of leaders was not modeling great teaming and this was their way to acknowledge the issue and make a commitment to be better together. Here is the letter (I have removed all names):
Commitments to Each Other
As members of the ____ top management team we recognize that we are responsible for the Division's success. That means that we are responsible for each other's success and that there is no business of the Division that is not our business. As teammates, with those responsibilities, we commit to each other the following:
- We will acknowledge each other's successes and contributions
- If we ever disagree with another team member's actions or decisions we will discuss our concerns with that team member (and not others)
- If we cannot resolve issues or concerns we will raise them to the Division President for resolution
- We will learn each other's challenges, goals, and objectives
- We will represent each other's interests in our respective organizations
- We will strive, in all things, to make the Corporation successful and to achieve Division objectives, ahead of individual objectives
- We will represent team decisions as that; we will debate them within the team and support them outside the team
- We will seek each other's input
We also acknowledge that our roles as Division leaders are 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week roles. So, these commitments are always to be lived up to, in all settings and with all audiences.
The letter was them signed by all the senior team members.
If you have some leadership team dysfunction, you might need to do something like this. I have found that the problem will not improve until team members hold themselves to a higher standard and they acknowledge what's going on.
This letter is not perfect - I would change a few things today if I were crafting it again - but it gives you the idea. Your letter should address the challenges you have and the opportunities you seek to explore.
If you struggle with management teaming issues, you might also check out a post I did on the topic a few years back called Dysfunction Reverberates. BTW - hint-hint, wink-wink, this post was one of 69 that made it into my new "best of" book Never-Ending New Beginnings. Have you picked up your copy yet? Thanks so much, if you have.