How to Make an Executive Team (Importance and Key Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 9, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Leadership in an organization may be one of the most crucial components of the company's success. Most successful companies have well-structured executive teams that can determine the company's brand. Learning how to assemble a high-performing executive team can help you achieve significant growth for a company. In this article, we discuss why it's essential to learn how to make an executive team, review steps on how to make an executive team, and highlight skills necessary to make an ideal executive team.

Importance of learning how to make an executive team

Learning how to make an executive team can help you actualize company strategies and establish achievable goals. The team's influence in the market may also allow them to get new profitable business prospects to grow the company. They are essential to a business as they ensure the smooth functioning of all company processes.

The executive team may also act as a central source of information regarding decisions in the company. Instead of getting different messages from multiple departments, the executive team can function as a single body that makes final decisions. A well-established executive team may also give the company status in the market. If the company's executive team consists of high-value individuals, the company may also become one of high value.

How to make an executive team

Here are six steps you may take to create an executive team that can be effective:

1. Learn what an executive team is

Also known as senior management, executive management, or upper management, this group of individuals assumes leadership roles within an organization. The executive team is also a term used to describe persons in charge of a firm's day-to-day operations or cooperation. The executive team is the top management team that may also define and amplify a company's culture.

2. Decide on a hierarchy structure

The hierarchy of the executive team can determine the duties of each member and workflow between the members. The structure may also help you identify the designations you can use when forming the team. There are two primary structures of executive teams: organic structure and mechanical structure.

In an organic structure executive team, the company may decentralize control and define each executive's roles based on their abilities. This can make the organic structure more casual and flexible. The company can implement well-known industry descriptions in the mechanical structure to determine everyone's role. This means that every chief operations officer in every company in the industry has the same role.

Related: What Is Organization Hierarchy? (With Definition and Types)

3. Create the job positions

Here are some important positions that may be essential to helping you form a complete executive team:

  • Chief executive officer (CEO): CEOs may be in charge of everything, including creating strategies and hiring the rest of the executive team members. An ideal CEO may have extensive leadership experience, including academic credentials in leadership and management.

  • Chief operating officer (COO): A COO may be responsible for the company's intricate operational aspects. The company's COO may ensure that the organization has all the resources to run efficiently and uses different measures to check that all processes are running well.

  • Chief financial officer (CFO): The CFO handles the company's money by creating budgets and financial strategies. They can decide whether it's beneficial for the company to lease or buy certain products and may also release funds for company projects.

  • Chief marketing officer (CMO): The CMO may be in charge of creating the sales plans and implementing most marketing strategies. You may require a CMO if the company's success primarily depends on marketing, especially in digital markets.

  • Chief technology officer (CTO): A CTO researches technology developments, incorporates them into the firm's strategy, and ensures that the company stays current in all matters of technology. If technology has a strategic impact on your firm or industry, you may consider a CTO.

Read more: What Is the Difference Between a CEO vs. a CFO? (With FAQs)

4. Find your team

Executive search firms may be an excellent option if the company has enough resources, including enough funds. Such firms may be influential because they can perform extensive research and present you with pre-screened individuals. They can also monitor the executive talent pool and are likely to connect the company with people you may not have discovered. Before you hire an executive search firm, create a list of expectations for your ideal candidates to help them conduct a more targeted search.

Networking can also be a valuable method of finding new employees among your existing colleagues or during conferences and workshops. If you're using recommendations from colleagues, you may choose first to make them aware of the type of person you want. It may also be preferable to conduct a background check on all the suggested candidates to ensure they're ideal for the job. You can further contact each of their references and discover more about the selected people. This may help you make a more guided decision.

5. Attract your preferred employees

Since recruiters may view an outstanding executive team as a critical source of company success, they may often use persuasion tactics to attract them to the company. This may be in the form of competitive salaries, attractive bonuses, or insurance packages. Before making offers, you may first choose to assess the company's resources and set packages that the company can afford for long periods.

Related: Headhunting Vs. Recruiting: How Are They Different?

6. Train the new employees

Before they can work efficiently, you may choose to train the members in their specific roles, especially if they're new to the industry. This training can focus on the company's culture, mission, and plans to blend seamlessly into any ongoing operations. Senior executives may also train in conflict management, team building, and crisis management, to lead large groups. Training them on social skills such as communication and workplace friendship is essential, too. This can help them create a great work experience for the employees, positively affecting the company's growth.

7. Introduce the new team members formally

Leadership teams may be highly effective if their decisions, thoughts, and behaviour can swiftly influence vast groups of employees at all company levels. Introducing them to their respective teams may allow for more seamless integration into the company. You may also choose to introduce the team members to each other to better function as a collective body.

Skills necessary to create an ideal executive team

Here are skills that may be required in a highly effective executive team:

Long-term focus

Effective executive teams may create a vision for the company. They devote a significant amount of time and effort to strategic planning. They can balance risk and innovation, foresee future demands and opportunities, and ensure the organization's long-term viability and success.

Holistic planning

Top-performing executive teams may collaborate and take a business-wide view of their individual and group responsibilities. All the decisions made by each team member are for the better development of all company areas. For instance, the CMO may choose to run a marketing campaign to promote sales to increase funds for the operations department.

Interpersonal skills

Each executive member may have interpersonal skills and experiences that help fulfil the company's goals uniquely. Each member's strengths and weaknesses can also balance to create synergy. This type of balance may also allow for mutual respect and equality among the executive team members.

Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definitions and Examples

Resilience

Managing a large company and deciding on major issues on behalf of many people may require the team members to build resilience, especially to disappointment. Executive team members may often view challenges as opportunities to grow and learn. When they show determination, employees are more likely to persevere and produce excellent results. Resilience may also enable better commitment to a task, no matter how large.

Read more: How to Lead Through a Crisis

Active listening

Listening skills can help team members value one another's differences and communicate effectively. Every team member treats the other's input as necessary, and every member considers the other's plans seriously. If there are any disagreements, the team members can discuss the issues respectfully and view them as learning opportunities.

Problem-solving skills

The executive team members may predict a problem and identify workable solutions to avoid its occurrence. If issues arise, the members may enforce workable solutions and ensure everyone's commitment to fixing the issue. Good problem-solving skills may be especially essential for the team to implement unique ideas that are highly effective in mitigating any crisis.

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