The Command Team Concept: Combining Executive and Experience

The leadership function when leading team is traditionally seen as a 1 person show. I would like to propose something slightly different….

What I’m getting at is the concept of the Command Team. This is something the Military incorporated some time back. It’s the concept of making a single Command node by joining together Experience with Authority. Basically the officer (Authority) and the senior non-commissioned member (Experience) tightened their relationship and became one leadership node. And when this works, it work’s beautifully.

The biggest benefit to employing the Command Team concept is that you have two key perspectives. The perspective of the executive: big hand/ small map, 1000ft up, focused on the vision, where the organization is going, etc. You also get the perspective of the experience: the person who worked their way up the company ladder, understands the work that goes into making every decision happen, who’s seen the problems a 100 different times, has their finger on the pulse for all the departments and understands how they do their work. The effect of these two functions working together to solve problems is a force multiplier in any organization. What it does is it takes the best of both the need to see the big picture with fresh eyes and marries it up with understanding the details and the “how” from the ground up.

The Command Team concept allows for both people to debate, discuss and finally find the best option to achieve a desired effect. The Command Team mitigates risks including but not limited to: naive planning, a lack of understanding how something will happen, a lack of creativity, a lack of risk acceptance, too much risk acceptance….. so on and so on. It will prevent a new executive from making calls that do not translate well in execution phase, and it will ensure that there is still that fresh perspective when going with an outside hire. Caveat – the person with the Authority ultimately is the person who makes the final decision.

In order for the Command Team concept to work there needs to be mutual respect between the two individuals, as well as the same mission focused. If these criteria are not met… expect a disaster. Work it right, and you will see a more robust and versatile leadership capability.

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