Cross-functional leadership is hard (because most organizations make it so). The hearts of employees live with their bosses or functions rather than the enterprise.

I just supported a group of leaders who began the meeting blaming everyone else for their problems. Below are 10 of the questions we used to generate a shared reality and focus the energy of the team on what matters most:

  1. What criteria are you using to determine priorities?
  2. As you execute, how will you respond when you encounter competing priorities?
  3. How do you determine if your functional priorities are aligned with those of the enterprise?
  4. After we leave this meeting, when you are under pressure to shift your priorities, what will you communicate to stakeholders?
  5. What work are you most/least excited about? (This reveals where early focus and energy will go.)
  6. What are you pretending isn’t a barrier to delivering your priorities – but is?
  7. What is the top distraction of your focus – which, when eliminated, will enable greater results?
  8. What methods will you use to sustain a deep focus on your top priority?
  9. Who will be your accountability partner to keep you honest in delivering your priorities?
  10. What is the reward for you personally as you successfully prioritize your work?

These questions are particularly powerful when they are asked after a declaration has been made of what is important to accomplish – and why. This is how collaborative leaders are direct and inclusive of diverse ideas and motivations.

The velocity with which your cross-functional team delivers on priorities is a matter of focus. As has been said: Energy flows where focus goes.

Activate Your Greatness.

Activate Your Greatness.

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