The discussion is common. The actions are what make you extraordinary.

To meet an emerging customer need, the leadership team we were supporting needed to accelerate the flow of value through their business.

“We need leaders who can break the silos in the business,” a VP stated.

“What does that look like?” we asked. “And how do you know you’re succeeding?”

With slight revisions, here are their answers:

1. You remember that when colleagues agree on a shared objective it only creates the illusion of alignment. Therefore, you prioritize connecting colleagues as humans so they can have the critical discussions necessary to synchronize daily efforts.

2. You drive seamless execution by being accountable to delivering on your responsibilities—in a manner that sets those working in other parts of the business for greater success.

3. When a lack of alignment between senior leaders above you causes conflict with your peers, you stop the victim mentality. Then you ask those same peers: Where are we empowered? Where can we forge deeper alignment ourselves?

4. When progress with colleagues stops, you resist the temptation to run and tell your boss; instead, you partner with your peers and mutually escalate the challenges so senior leadership has a shared reality.

5. When others (who have a limited understanding of your responsibilities) write long emails of blame or false assumptions, you don’t “reply all” with a point-by-point analysis of their errors. Instead, you pick up the phone or walk down the hall for an in-person discussion.

6. You regularly provide evidence that you’re genuinely motivated to support colleagues in accomplishing their goals in the process of achieving enterprise objectives.

7. When you fail at the above measures or it seems others are solely focused on their own agendas, you take a deep breath. And choose to lead again. (And again.)

The discussion is common. The actions are what make you extraordinary.



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