Avoiding C-Suite Mistakes Chapter 7: First Team First

Read the previous parts of “Avoiding C-Suite Mistakes” here: https://deodentalgroup.com/category/strategy/avoiding-c-suite-mistakes/

The most common mistake when building a C-Suite is not building up the team from the very beginning.

With few exceptions, no team has ever won a championship with only superstars on the court. Your mantra when thinking about how to best guide the C-Suite — as well as the company as a whole — should be “team first, team always.” Without building up the C-Suite, you will never successfully maximize performance, but that strength needs to extend to the rest of the team as well.

Teams Win Championships

Steps to Building a Successful C-Suite:

  • Create a shared vision and ensure alignment. Get everyone in the C-Suite clear about your purpose and your mission. You’ve hired people who have values that align strongly with the company’s, but the company’s values need to be strongly reinforced.  Each C-Suite executive should be pushing the company’s values, vision, and purpose down into their teams.
  • As a group, identify the highest-impact business opportunities. Enunciate what to do and what not to do to set your strategic direction.
  • Make sure each C-Suite executive understands that the company will be measuring the group’s culture. There are a number of tools available on the web that measure corporate culture. Areas that should be evaluated and measured when determining the health of your culture:
    • Communication: C-Suite executives should be able to communicate their thoughts and suggestions to the team and CEO. Their ability to effectively communicate necessary information to employees is one metric to assess their skills as leaders. Determine whether the current channels of communication are effective at helping everyone in the company send, receive and understand information.
    • Innovation: Assess whether employees have the ability to move ideas through the organization and how open your group is to new ideas.
    • Wellness: Workplace wellness means the mental and physical health of employees. Overall wellness leads to better and more productive employees.
    • Environment: Ensuring that your employees are comfortable and secure in their workplace is essential for productivity and overall company health and functionality.
    • Collaboration: Use feedback from employees to determine what is working well and what might need tinkering. Cross-partnership among teams is essential for overall company success.
    • Support: Employees need to feel heard and supported, no matter what their level in the company hierarchy. Managers often feel neglected in this aspect, which is why ensuring good communication channels is essential.
    • Responsibility: Employees should be held accountable for the decisions they make regarding their work. This is a value that should encompass all levels of the organization.
    • Mission and value alignment: Keep apprised of what your employees are doing: Do they know the company’s mission and core values? Keep this metric at the forefront at all times, not just during onboarding.

Superstars Kill Teams

Successful CEOs know one of the major factor’s in any organization’s success is the success of the C-Suite, but that no team has ever truly succeeded with only “superstars” on the court. Ensuring that this group has the resources they need to push through challenges and overcome obstacles should be a CEO’s major focus, but you need to keep in mind that the overall state of communication, collaboration, environment, and responsibility among all your players is what gets you to the finish line.


— Marc