1. They spend little time with one another outside of required meetings or events.
We’re not talking about non-work social events here, but rather incidental contact between meetings, and informal but productive conversations. Executives who are part of a cohesive team seek opportunities to interact with one another because they understand that the most important ideas surface during unstructured time, and because they enjoy being together.
2. They share more with their staff members than with their peers.
When executives are more comfortable being transparent with the people who work for them than the people who work with them, that’s a problem. The first priority of an executive team is the good of the company, as opposed to their own departments. That means they place an even higher priority on honesty and cohesion with their peers than they do with their staff.
3. Employees in different departments get different messages from the executives who lead their departments.
When leaders leave executive staff meetings and tell their direct reports different things than their peers do, it often speaks to a lack of alignment and cohesion. This happens even on well-intentioned teams when team members don’t take the time to clarify key messages to cascade at the end of meetings.
4. They vent to their staff members about their peers.
When leaders complain to their own team members about their frustration with their peers, it sends a clear message of disunity. This is not unlike parents who complain to their children about their spouse.
5. They complain to their staff members about having to go to executive team meetings.
This is related to points two and four above. Executives who complain about having to go to meetings are often not just complaining about the meetings, but about having to spend time with their peers. Imagine the impact this message has on their employees; much like a dad grumbling to his kids about having to go on a date with his wife.