Henley Centre for Leadership Voices: Trump’s inauguration – one year on, Senior Management Teams and New Year resolutions


If you look back at news reporting between November 2016 and today, it is astonishing. Every move, idea, comment and breath by Donald Trump has been commented on and responded to, and for good reason.

However, it also tells us about ourselves as an audience. You will remember, in my blogs I mentioned these dynamics a year ago! So how about pausing for a moment: observing, but not necessarily reacting. In doing this we could take a more systemic view and reflect on the productive role the groups and networks in the wider eco-system play.

So how about the involvement of senior management teams?

Recently, we seem to be learning about the individuals, networks and senior groups in the President’s environment, in more detail than we might actually want. Still, that poses a crucial question: How can senior management teams be relevant, purpose-rich, challenging and healthy in situations with difficult, ambiguous leadership constellations?

You think this is a big leap to make? Maybe not. Look at your context. In ever more fluid organisations and surprising business situations, proactivity, voicing productive challenge, positive action, and purpose-rich momentum stems not only from the so-called ‘top’, but from other hubs in the organisation such as senior management teams. The top group is instrumental, but at the same time limited, due to its very context, and because other management teams are often closer to the business and to customers.

Well, are you a member of one of those teams?  Let’s take belated advantage of the time of year…

New Year Resolutions – from me to us

I love my New Year resolutions. Finally I am at the centre of my own attention. Good for me. Now in late January that is calming down a bit. Good for collective and systemic thinking.  To play a greater role in a difficult leadership situation you might consider one New Year resolution for the management team you are a member of: Let’s rethink our contribution to societies’ demands and the organisations ambitions!

In need of a trigger? Think, if only you could reinvent the management team that you are involved in today! Why does the management team exist? What would we miss if you and your management team were NOT there?  If you could reinvent it, what would your team be outstanding at? What would you stop immediately? What are the complementary capabilities that we would find?

Try this:

I cannot imagine that you don’t want to explore these questions with your colleagues and peers. At least for a bit of distraction from the looming anniversary.  And if you don’t want to explore these questions, what are the reasons holding you back?

Happy engaging – stay tuned.


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