We talk a lot about the board of directors here at Convene. We are a board portal solution, after all. But you know as well as we do that a board’s decision would be futile without the senior leadership team. 

What is a Senior Leadership Team:

Your senior leaders might be known by a different name — senior managers, executive managers or upper managers — but they all fill the same role. They are the individuals with the highest rank of management who have the day-to-day tasks of managing that organisation. A senior leadership team is a set group of senior leaders who meet to strategise and advise.

Who is on a Senior Leadership Team:

The heads of departments form the senior leadership team. This usually consists of the head of business, head of finance, head of HR and any other specialist department an organisation has. The Chair of the board or the CEO may also attend the Senior Leadership meetings. 

On the other hand, in schools a Senior Leadership Team (SLT) is made up of the principal, headteacher, deputy headteacher, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) president, business manager, special educational needs co-ordinator and the school governors. The SLT in a school may alternatively include the Heads of Years, Heads of Key Stages, Subject Heads and Union Leaders. There is not a one-size-fits-all prescription for who should be on the senior management team, but they should be experienced leaders with rank and influence. 

What is the Purpose of a Senior Leadership Team:

Organisations grounded in hierarchical structures to preserve order, encourage transparency and have a clear chain of command. The executive board agrees on the general direction of the organisation, the board agrees on how they should reach this goal, and the senior leaders execute the plan. 

They are responsible for implementing the decisions of the board and executive team. In a business, the senior leaders are also managers, so it is their job to oversee all members of their teams. They should ensure that every employee knows their tasks and the organisation’s guidelines. 

It is important that the board and the senior leaders all have open, frank and transparent communications. This will ensure that the senior leaders feel able to come to the board and the CEO with solutions and issues as they arise. They should also be able to meet and take action as needed in emergencies. However, it is important to remember that they are not a decision-making body and serve only in an advisory capacity. It should still be the executive committee and the board who run the show.

The senior leadership team are the principal judges of risk management. Their instincts of when to take a risk should be listened to as they have a detailed knowledge of their employees’ and the organisation’s capabilities. Senior leaders play a key role in hiring, promoting and reviewing the performance of employees in their departments. A senior leader is the human touch of the board within the organisation.

The senior leadership team set the tone. They are the ones who need to bring up employees when they go against the standards or values of the organisation. The senior leaders should make sure they are leading by example, which is why transparency and accountability are vital. 

What Makes a Good Senior Leadership Team:
According to Forbes, a good senior leader has these 11 qualities:

  1. Self-Managing — knows how to regulate their time and emotions, also aware of their abilities and limitations.
  2. Thinking strategically — approaching the future in a focused but flexible manner. 
  3. Communicating effectively — an ability to communicate to employees in a variety of ways clearly and succinctly.
  4. Accountable and responsible — hold themselves and others to the standards of their organisation.
  5. Setting clear goals and persisting in achieving them — keep pushing through challenges and motivating those around you.
  6. Having a vision for the future — on top of being able to think strategically, it is important to have a clear idea of the evolution of the organisation.
  7. Managing complexity — be a problem solver!
  8. Fostering Creativity And Innovation — take risks and encourage others to do the same.
  9. Team Building And Promoting Teamwork — recruits and develops an innovative team.
  10. Creating Lasting Relationships — great at networking.
  11. Learning agility — be adaptable and have critical thinking skills.

How Can Convene Help Your Senior Leadership Team:

Convene’s board portal is not only a solution for the board, but for the whole organisation. The document library features make it easy to give access to both sensitive files to specific employees and important organisation-wide documents in the same place, whilst reducing the risk of human error. The board portal can also help your senior leadership during their team meetings. Packs can be created, shared, annotated or signed effortlessly. Convene helps streamline your entire organisation’s processes and cut operating costs by eliminating the need for paper. Don’t hesitate to contact us and see what Convene can do for you. Book a demo today!

Gabriella Mangham

Written by Gabriella Mangham

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