Engage the Senior Management Team in Three Critical Conversations No Other Team Can Have

No other team in an organization combines the seniority, representativeness, collective wisdom, experience, and competence of the senior management team (SMT). But those extraordinary characteristics rest on a very ordinary foundation—team members' status as staff to the boss.

Several of the CEOs I engaged in the research for this book have made a point of renaming their executive committees simply “X's Staff.” At the American Red Cross, for example, CEO Gail McGovern's top team is known as “Gail's direct reports.” The thinking of these leaders is that every boss has a staff—this one just happens to be mine. The team members deal with high-level ...

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