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Building Your Inner Circle

There is a high price to pay for not having the right people on your team (https://wcito.com/2014/06/20/do-you-have-the-right-team/). Assuming you have taken care of that step, now it is time to engage your leadership team and high-potential staff in creating and communicating a shared vision to become world-class.

Your leadership team is your inner circle. They are the people that you can trust to implement your vision and to have your back. The key with your leadership team is make sure that you can create a vision for your organization that they can, and do, buy into. Just like your high-potential staff, they need to feel like you are invested in them and that they are sharing in the spoils of your combined success.

Your high-potential staff is exactly that – individual contributors who get it. They get that they are at your organization to build something that is greater than the sum of its parts, and that they play a significant part in contributing to your success. These people are your rock stars! Identifying these people are easy and everyone in your department and throughout the company know who they are. They are the people who get things done without excuses. Sometimes they fail and they take responsibility, but then they get back up and move on to the next success. You need these people on your team in order for you to be successful and you need to make sure that you are invested in them and they know it.

To make sure that they remain YOUR rock stars and not somebody else’s, you need to engage them. You achieve employee engagement when they are:

  • Challenged
  • Empowered
  • Accountable
  • Appreciated
  • Developed
  • Compensated fairly

Fail to do any one of these and you run the risk of them becoming disengaged and moving on.

There is an outdated management philosophy that is centered around command and control, but not too may organizations can achieve a high-performance culture embracing this model. Work is much more rewarding when you foster and develop openness, trust, transparency, and meritocracy.

At the end of the day, you should be filling your inner circle with people who can embrace and execute your vision, and engaging them by creating an atmosphere of empowerment, trust, and transparency. Push the ones who can’t get there out of your inner circle and get to the business of executing your vision.


About Michael Weaver

Mike is CIO at DBM Global and startup enthusiast. DBM's portfolio of companies include Schuff Steel, PDC, BDS VirCon and Aitken Manufacturing.


6 thoughts on “Building Your Inner Circle

  1. Great points, Michael. And I especially like the 6 bullets required for “employee engagement”. So many companies (and CIOs) take their teams for granted and don’t focus enough on empowering, appreciating and developing them — falsely believing that compensation and accountability is all that is required. Recent studies have shown that less than 30% of employees are “engaged”.

    I see this everyday in my recruiting practice, and my rock star candidates are often faced with the “counter offer” when their current employers bemoan losing them. In my opinion, counters rarely if ever work out — as money can’t buy “engagement” and by that time, its too late.

    One additional thought I would like to add is the importance of having a Peer Group of external advisers in addition to your Inner Circle and rock star staff. It’s invaluable to have a sounding board outside your own team and organization to provide lessons-learned and other perspectives.

    Posted by Diane Smigel | December 8, 2014, 1:55 PM
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