Leadership A-team and B-team Blindspots: The Silent Drain on Company Finances
By Heidi R. Andersen, Founder and CEO of Living Institute
In an opinion piece in the Danish Business Publication, Børsen, I share what characterizes skilled leaders today. Hint hint… It’s about being able to embrace and nurture super-teams with the employees already employed in the company.
Surveying 95 leaders, I uncovered a concerning trend: 91.5% of the leaders unconsciously classify their teams into A and B tiers. The potential fallout? A hefty half-billion Danish kroner bill.
The A- and B-team exercise
I asked a question to the 95 leaders in a workshop:
What characterizes your B-team?
Their Answer: They are slow, disloyal, lazy, negative, passive, indifferent, dependent, incompetent, and ineffective.
The above A- and B-team exercise was conducted in a workshop for a group of leaders in a Danish company.
In the exercise, I asked the leaders to take out their smartphones and write three words that characterized their A-team. Quickly, words like executive, creative, solution-oriented, decisive, honest, loyal, and experienced appeared on the big screen.
When I asked them to write what characterized their B-team, the big screen exploded with negative words like slow, disloyal, lazy, negative, passive, indifferent, dependent, incompetent, and ineffective.
Only eight out of the 95 leaders did not fall into the trap. They did not accept the premise that a leader by default has an A-team and a B-team. And that was the purpose of the exercise.
The exercise showed that 91.5% of the leaders in the company had an A-team and a B-team.
A concerning calculation of loss from in-action
If each of the remaining 87 leaders has 10 employees in each team, and we divide the 10 people evenly into each leader’s A and B teams, the 5 belonging to the B team will likely leave the company within a relatively short time due to dissatisfaction with their leadership and lack of belonging. Because when your leader thinks you are slow, disloyal, lazy, negative, passive, indifferent, dependent, incompetent, and ineffective, it’s probably a good idea to find a new job.
Based on this, the company with the 87 leaders could be facing a staggering bill accumulated over a relatively short period of over half a billion Danish kroner:
(Leaders x Employees on the B team) x 2 annual salaries
(87 x 5) x €200,000 = €87 million
For less than 0.08% of that amount, you can send all 87 leaders to two days of training in Inclusive Leadership at Living Institute. Here, the leaders would learn how to merge their A-team with their B-team and create a super-team. The premise is that all employees were initially hired in the company based on their skills and expertise.
(NB: Linked article is in Danish)