‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’, the Olympic motto (and now ours!)

Having committed ourselves, with typical Maier passion, to Fitbits and Lifesum, the sleeker, new look Maier team are taking 2016 head-on. So, not surprisingly, this month’s feature in strategy+ – ‘20 questions for business leaders’ (including our personal favourite ‘What the hell is leadership?’) got us thinking about the top teams we work with and what they’re doing to get in shape. Or as one of our clients puts it, what’s their ‘go even faster strategy’?

We’re in no doubt that winning teams all have that special combination of experience and emotional intelligence that ensures the vision and values extend to every corner of the organisation, no matter how remote. But what should you be tracking as a team if you want to ‘find your fit’?

1. Staying HOT; it’s become our mantra and for the teams we work with it gives the biggest lift to how they think and behave. Without exception honesty, openness and trust are the foundation stones of all our high performing teams and once ‘challenge’ edges its way into the team dynamic then there’s no looking back.

2. Allegiance without question; staying true to your core team (in the case of Executives that’s the top team rather than their operational team which can sometimes be a difficult shift to achieve) meaning you view the business as a whole not in its functional parts – able to represent any part of it at the drop of a hat! There’s something very powerful in a Finance Director seizing the opportunity to tell the story of the company culture with people at the heart of it rather than delivering the numbers. It can feel way out of comfort zone initially but it soon becomes ‘just the way we do things around here’ – second nature without ever losing its impact.

3. Rising above it all; staying out of the detail, letting go, taking the broader view, avoiding the temptation to drill into detail prematurely. In other words, staying with the strategic big picture thinking for as long as you need to. In our work with teams this is often where we have to ask for their patience; helping them get their heads back above water, rather than getting carried away on the deep dive of detail.

4. Ambition = risk; being brave and being prepared to take a risk. Being even more ambitious than you thought possible. No more needs saying, you just have to sometimes bite the bullet and do it, or as one of our clients expressed following a recent event we held ‘Let’s stop talking and start doing!’

5. Your leadership brand; consistent tone, message and style, knowing instinctively when it’s right because you really get it. As a team, having a shared vision on the leadership style that you want to be known for. And importantly, how you can use it to inspire and engage your people.

Rio here we come (we wish)!