How to Build Highly Effective Executive Teams

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Building an executive team isn't as easy as simply cherry-picking the best employees in the office. Anyone who has been in a high-level team knows that many problems are waiting to be solved.


In fact, according to Dr. Eunice Parisi-Carew, an expert on teams, leadership & collaboration, 60% of work teams fail. If this doesn't convince you that building an effective executive team is difficult, HBR mentioned that 75% of cross-functional teams are dysfunctional.


These statistics prove that building an executive team isn't a walk in the park - it requires a lot of time, effort, and planning. A task that seems complicated, but it isn't impossible. 


So to help you form an excellent team, here are the top tips on how to build a highly effective executive team.


Why Is There A Need For Executive Teams?


Before I discuss how to build a great executive team, it's essential to know why they exist in the first place. Executive teams are created to provide leadership in the company. They are in charge of implementing strategies and setting goals for everyone to achieve. These teams spearhead the company as market leaders while balancing and mitigating the risks that come with the role.


The team is also constantly looking for any business opportunities that the company can capitalize on for its growth. Executive teams are also responsible for managing the whole operations of the business. They are on top of every business development, resource allocation, and implementation of policies in every department.


It's no secret that executive teams play a vital role in a company. They make sure that everything is intact and heading in the right direction. These teams oversee every aspect of the business, while also micromanaging their roles.


How they operate and solve problems for the company is how every team should work in the business. They are the model for teamwork and collaboration in the organization.


Now that you know the role of executive teams and their need, it's time to discuss how to build a highly effective one.


How to Build a Highly Effective Executive Team


Every CEO's job description calls for the ability to put together a high-performing executive team. This can be extremely challenging since the qualities that generally earn senior executives a spot on the executive team isn't necessarily needed for peak performance. But, the tips below are precisely what's required to build a top-performing leadership team.


Understand Individual Executive Team Members


The first step is to understand precisely what drives the members of an executive team. For instance, if a company like 3Wishes were to assemble an executive team, they might first seek to find out what character traits the individuals possess that would help them perform well. This is something the top leader of an organization needs to get right before an effective executive team can be put together.


Know What It Means to Lead at This Level


In addition to getting the diagnosis right on the team members, it's also essential to understand the mental leadership model. Leadership team members need to understand explicitly - and agree on - what an enterprise-level leadership role entails. 


For instance, a company that offers empty capsules in bulk would have to choose leaders who understand that their role on the executive team goes beyond simple, functional responsibilities like setting goals and developing strategies for making more sales. 


Get the Mindset Right


Senior executives need to accept challenges that require them to learn and grow continually. This means that a position in the leadership team doesn't represent a peak in professional development but rather a commitment to never-ending improvement


This is the perspective top-performing executive members need to bring to others with whom they interact to encourage them to develop and grow beyond their technical expertise.


For instance, a CEO of a company that sells a predictive dialing tool might look for executive team members who are skilled at balancing innovation and risk to help the organization anticipate the needs and opportunities that might come around in the future. 


Create Explicit Interaction Rules


Having rules around team interactions will help guide all team members as they interact with each other. This might be anything from having protocols for keeping data safe online to the type of language and channels used in communications and interactions. 


This is particularly important for building an effective executive team, but members need to be transparent and comfortable learning in public for this to work. For instance, a company that sells WordPress guest blogging plugins might choose executive team members with robust communication skills who are willing to allow themselves to be vulnerable during their interactions.


Instill Effectual Diffusion Rules 


Executive teams are responsible for everything from the business logo to company cultureIt's crucial for them to be able to get the rules of diffusion right so that the team's actions and values can filter down to the rest of the organization and be modeled by others throughout the enterprise. 


That's why they should have a system in place to ensure that their thinking, decisions, and behaviors spread quickly through the different levels and departments in the company.




There are many factors that need to be considered when building an executive team. It involves understanding each member at an individual level to making sure everyone is on the same page.


Knowing how vital an executive team is to the company, the building and selection process shouldn't be rushed. The team members will be the ones who will oversee and monitor the entire operation of your business. By implementing the tips above, you're on the right track to building highly effective executive teams.


DH offers Executive Alignment workshops designed to improve communication, clarify the organization's vision, create alignment & strengthen teambuilding.

Executive Leadership  Alignment Workshops

About the Author

Burkhard Berger

Burkhard Berger is the founder of awesomex™. You can follow him on his journey from 0 to 100,000 monthly visitors on His articles include some of the best growth hacking strategies and digital scaling tactics that he has learned from his own successes and failures.


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