J. Richard Hackman's "Senior Leadership Teams: What it Takes to Make Them Great"

Senior Leadership Teams: What it Takes to Make Them Great

J. Richard Hackman, Edgar Pierce Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology, Harvard Kennedy School

Ruth Wageman, Associate of the Department of Psychology, Harvard University

Debra A. Nunes

James A. Burruss


An organization's fate hinges on its CEO--right? Not according to the authors of "Senior Leadership Teams." They argue that in today's world of neck-snapping change, demands on leaders in top roles are rapidly outdistancing the capabilities of any one person--no matter how talented. Result? Chief executives are turning to their enterprise's senior leaders for help. Yet many CEOs stumble when creating a leadership team. One major challenge is that senior executives often focus more on their individual roles than on the top team's shared work. Without the CEO's careful attention to setting the team up correctly, these high-powered managers often have difficulty pulling together to move their organization forward. Sometimes they don't even agree about what constitutes the right path forward. The authors explain how to determine whether your organization needs a senior leadership team. Then, drawing on their study of 100+ top teams from around the world, they explain how to create a clear and compelling purpose for your team, get the right people on it, provide structure and support, and sharpen team members' competencies--and your own. Timely and practical, this book enables you to create and sustain a leadership team whose members learn from one another while collaborating to pursue your company's objectives.

Notable Quotes

"This book is for anyone who seeks a new lens through which to examine senior leadership teams--those who lead businesses, government agencies, educational and nonprofit enterprises of all kinds, as well as anyone concerned about leadership at the top of an enterprise. It provides insights about why some senior leadership teams enter into a spiral of ever-increasing capability while others either struggle endlessly on or crash and burn. And it provides concrete and practical guidance, based on the authors' years of experience as researchers and consultants, about how to capture and harness the real benefits of leadership teams without falling victim to the problems and miscues that so often derail them"

-- Publisher.

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