Mind the Gap...

  • July 12, 2023

Leadership teams come in all shapes and sizes. Some are large, others small. Some are fluid, while others are more fixed.

Regardless of their makeup, however, the goal is always to create an environment where all team members can work together effectively toward a common goal or shared purpose.

This week's blog post explores how to build cohesion within your leadership team so that it remains aligned and focused on achieving its goals.

A critical issue that can have a significant impact on organizational clarity is the presence of gaps within a leadership team.

We explore the reasons behind these gaps and discuss effective strategies to prevent them.

The Significance of Organizational Clarity

No matter the size or nature of an organization, it is crucial for the leaders to ensure there are no fissures or gaps between them when it comes to clarity.

The essence of organizational clarity lies in addressing six fundamental inquiries:

  1. Purpose: What is our reason for existence?
  2. Culture: How do we conduct ourselves?
  3. Focus: What is our primary business focus?
  4. Success: What is our formula for success?
  5. Priorities: What holds the utmost significance at this moment?
  6. Roles: Who is accountable and responsible for what?

The answers to these questions form the foundation of a clear and aligned leadership team.

When the leadership team differs in opinion on how to answer these questions, gaps appear. Even seemingly small differences in opinions can quickly amplify into significant challenges.

This phenomenon is what we refer to as the "vortex effect." The cracks in clarity that exist at the leadership level become blinding rays of light further down the organizational hierarchy, impeding employees' ability to accomplish tasks effectively.

Understanding the Sources for Gaps in Organizational Clarity

There are several reasons why these gaps emerge within leadership teams. It's essential to identify and address them to foster organizational alignment:

  1. Assumptions: Leaders often assume that everyone is already on the same page, leading them to overlook the need for ongoing clarity checks.
  2. Minimizing Impact: Some leaders underestimate the significance of these gaps, dismissing them as minor issues that do not warrant attention.
  3. Fear of Conflict: Leaders may shy away from confronting these gaps head-on, fearing the discomfort and potential conflicts that might arise.

Common Areas of Misalignment:

While gaps can manifest in any of the six critical questions, some areas tend to be more prone to misalignment:

  1. Purpose: Differences in understanding the organization's fundamental reason for existence can create misalignment in decision-making and goal-setting.
  2. Values and Behaviors: When leaders have differing interpretations of the values and principles that guide organizational behavior, it can result in conflicting approaches within the team.
  3. Strategic Direction: Misalignment in defining the organization's strategy can lead to conflicting priorities and hinder effective execution.

Preventing Gaps and Fostering Alignment:

To prevent and address these gaps, leaders must prioritize clarity and alignment:

  1. Establishing Clarity: Leaders must strive to solidify and strengthen their understanding of the answers to the six critical questions. It is crucial to regularly revisit and reaffirm these answers, treating them as a dynamic and evolving guide for the team's direction.
  2. Prioritize the Leadership Team: Highlight the importance of the leadership team as the primary team, emphasizing that their shared goals and objectives should take priority over individual or departmental interests.
  3. Clarify Decision-Making: Encourage open dialogue and consensus-building during meetings to ensure everyone is aligned on decisions and actions. Documenting key agreements and sharing them afterward helps reinforce clarity.
  4. Check for Understanding: At the end of meetings or discussions, ask team members to write down their understanding of the decisions made. Compare and reconcile these perspectives to ensure alignment.


Minding the gap within a leadership team is vital for maintaining organizational clarity. Small fissures in alignment can have far-reaching consequences, hindering effective execution and causing confusion and conflict within the organization. By prioritizing clarity, fostering open communication, and addressing differences head-on, leaders can bridge these gaps and build a strong foundation for organizational success. Remember, it's better to confront and resolve these gaps than to allow them to escalate and impede progress.

Mind the gap and ensure a clear path forward for your organization.

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