Does your Leadership Team have a set of expected behaviors actually written for the team? Patrick Lencioni refers to them as “rules of engagement”, others as team norms, and so on. The point is – are your team’s expected behaviors written down and mutually agreed upon by the team members? If not, you are probably having behavioral problems at times.

I have been on leadership teams that did not have explicit rules of engagement and I have served on ones that did have written, explicit norms of behavior that were expected – believe me – it makes a difference!

In the book “Senior Leadership Teams”, it makes the statement, “Good norms always are the result of careful assessments of what is getting in the way and what helps the team and are established and refined through conscious decisions and hard collaborative work.”

Following is a paraphrase of another person:

Early in its life, a team’s members will do well to create explicit rules of engagement. Operating on an implicit agreement will eventually lead to some sort of impasse resulting in unhealthy conflict. Creating clear and explicit rules of engagement empowers each member of the team.

So, do you have written, explicit norms of behavior for your leadership team? If not, why not?

BG Allen