Is it time to revamp your leadership team?


Homogeneity among your leadership team is like a decadent creamy chocolate cake: it feels tempting, but when you resist it, you get in much better shape.

Increasing diversity on your leadership team leads to better decisions – and better financial results. However we have a natural tendency to surround ourselves with people similar to us: diversity is harder. How do you know whether your leadership team is diverse enough?

Why is diversity important?

Plenty of research has demonstrated that increasing diversity on your team enhances your top and bottom lines. Among others, as this HBR article explains, diversity:

  • Helps you make better decisions. For instance, this study shows that “Teams that are gender diverse, geographically diverse, and have at least one age gap of more than 20 years make better decisions than that lone individual 87% of the time.”
  • Helps you recruit and retain good people.
  • Makes your organization more resilient – and better at navigating crises.
  • Makes you 20% to 70% more innovative.

Birds of a feather flock together

The problem is: we are naturally drawn to others who share similar backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. There is a good reason for this: diversity is harder.

Diverse teams “are more likely to encounter operational friction when executing business decisions, according to this Forbes article. They struggle to put decisions into action.”

Consequently: building a diverse leadership team requires you to fight your own natural tendencies.

Is your leadership team diverse enough?

Because team homogeneity is so tempting, it is crucial to measure from time to time how truly diverse your leadership team is. Do your leadership team members complement each others’ strengths and weaknesses?

Next to the obvious measures of diversity (eg gender, race, age, geography,…), you can check the level of diversity of your leadership team with personality-based tools. One of them is the Working Genius, described in Patrick Lencioni’s latest book.

In short, this simple tool helps you figure out what each of your leaders is great at (ie what they do effortlessly) and which strengths you miss on your team.

According to Lencioni, every type of work involves these 6 different steps / talents (“Working Geniuses”):

  1. Wonderers get energy from asking questions and challenging the status quo. Eg: “Why are things this way? How can we do better?”
  2. Inventors love to come up with new ideas and solutions – to help solve the problems raised by Wonderers.
  3. Discerners have a great intuition (“common sense”) to evaluate whether the invention will work. Team members naturally feel drawn to these leaders when seeking advice.
  4. Galvanizers get energy out of rallying and inspiring people to take action, and organize them to work on the invention / project.
  5. Enablers respond to the Galvanizer and provide help and support (sometimes from behind the scenes) to get things moving in the right direction. They enable the team to do whatever it takes to get the project done.
  6. Tenacious leaders love to finish things, to get things done, and see the results – so the project accomplishes its goals.

You need all 6 Working Geniuses on your leadership team. Leadership teams without Tenacious leaders often don’t finish things. Without Inventors, they lack innovation. Without Enablers, they crumble.

Out of these 6, which ones are your personal top Working Geniuses? Which one(s) do you have plenty of on your leadership team? Which one(s) are you missing?

Conclusion: diversity is harder, but worth it

In diverse teams “the work feels harder, but the outcome is better.” Diversity of people leads to a broader diversity of points of views, which leads to stronger innovation and better decisions – which leads to better financial results.

How much better could your leadership team perform if it was more diverse?

Access the original article and its sources here: Is it time to revamp your leadership team? – Ambrose Growth | Business Coaching

Updated: Apr 3, 2024

About the author
Xavier Lederer of Ambrose Growth is a member of XPX Hartford

Call me when your client is frustrated because their business is not growing as fast as they want. As a business coach I help companies identify and remove growth roadblocks so they can grow faster and with less pain.