Good leaders need a “cabinet,” which is a senior team responsible for carrying out decisions and implementing plans. But what about your “kitchen cabinet” – a smaller group of trusted associates; an inner circle that helps you confidentially speculate about possible directions, make difficult decisions or deal with sensitive issues in the workplace? Do you know who to bring into your kitchen cabinet? And who to exclude?
To read the rest of this article from the Boston Business Journal, see: You don’t want dish-breakers in your kitchen cabinet http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/stories/2008/07/28/story6.html
Most senior teams, or cabinets, have five to 15 people. You might call these teams your “strategic team,” but they usually become more tactical because members tend to focus on day-to-day operations and functions, and jockey for turf and power.
Your kitchen cabinet will be smaller. Success is important but is not the major criterion for who gets onto your kitchen cabinet. What types of people ruin a kitchen cabinet?
- Insecure, defensive, troublesome, whining, complaining, victims, Drama Queens and meddling peacemakers who need constant reassurance.
- Narcissistic, micromanagers and control-freaks unable to get beyond their self-focus – invested in personal agendas, dislikes, vendettas and turf wars.
- Perpetually hostile, critical, negative, cranky, dogmatic and abusive rule-worshippers.
- Sneaky, manipulative, back stabbing bullies.
- Dishonest and lacking integrity.
In addition to success, what are some of the important qualities in people you do want?
- You feel comfortable opening up your thought processes and speculations to them.
- You trust their wisdom and vision. You trust that they’ll serve your vision and goals first, not their own.
- They can take a big view objectively and they don’t take things personally and don’t engage in bullying to get their way.
- They’re resilient; not defeated by setbacks.
- They trust you enough that when you don’t tell them everything, they assume you have good reasons.
- They don’t gossip but, instead, maintain confidentiality; especially when they disagree with the value of plans you’re contemplating or have decided on.
If you’ve inherited a senior leadership team and a kitchen cabinet, you’ll still have to form your own. That’ll cause some hurt feelings and you may have turnover. But that’s much better than opening up to the wrong people or trying to operate without an effective kitchen cabinet.
Learn what you can do to eliminate the high cost of low attitudes, behavior and performance.