Leaders Increasingly Say That Their Executive Teams Are Ineffective

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Fractured Executive Teams Create Deep Fissures in Their Organizations

Too often, the C-suite becomes a pantheon of highly talented executives, but with little focus on how those executives work as a team to drive strategy. In fact, more than two-thirds of CEOs say their executive team is ineffective at driving strategy. And an even higher number of the senior- and mid-level leaders working underneath the executive team say that they are ineffective.

While executive team dynamics have long plagued CEOs, these tensions have worsened since 2020. This drop in confidence may be part of a post-crisis response to the pandemic. During the height of the crisis, many organizations were united with a clarity of purpose and priorities to get through short-term strain. However, the business landscape post-crisis has been significantly altered, creating a more ambiguous path to success for most companies, which may create rifts among executive teams.

These fractured teams cause ripples of insecurity throughout their organizations. Compared to companies with effective executive teams, leaders at companies with ineffective teams are:

  • 6.5X less likely to say clear expectations have been set for them.
  • 5X less likely to say that change is being handled well at their organization.
  • 2.3X less likely to feel they can succeed at operating their business through an ambiguous and uncertain environment, potentially their biggest risk to business success.

Great CEOs can differentiate themselves from those struggling to accomplish their agenda by creating an effective executive team. CEOs should focus not only on the individual performance of their executives, but on how they operate as a single, cohesive unit.

With an effective executive team in place, these organizations are 2.4X more likely to be able to engage and retain top talent and 2.9X more likely to financially perform in the top 10% of their industry peers.

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