How to develop successful leadership teams - an interview with ChatGPT

This article is an attempt to combine the benefits of artificial intelligence with my experience as a leadership coach. While the answers generated by the AI were created in less than a minute, my overall editorial work was reduced by around a third.

On March 28, 2023 at 08:00 a.m. I asked the following questions on the OpenAI platform:

MB: “How do you develop successful leadership teams?”

OpenAI: “Developing successful leadership teams requires a combination of factors, including the right selection of team members, effective communication and collaboration, smart decision making and effective conflict management. […]”

MB: “How to choose right team members for leadership teams?” OpenAI: “[…]

  1. check the leadership experience […]
  2. check strategic planning and decision making skills […]
  3. check the ability to collaborate […]
  4. check the ability to communicate […]
  5. check the ability to develop employees […]
  6. check the ability to be flexible […]”

MB: While the 6 topics in the answer are understandable and are probably included in many selection processes, it is often unclear how they are checked. External assessors are often used or assessments are carried out. However, this does not release you from preparing specific questions yourself. This means that you not only recognize IF a candidate has certain skills, but HOW these are demonstrated in a business context. What does employee development mean for you in concrete terms? What do you expect? And what do you expect in terms of communication? Members of leadership teams have a huge systemic and cultural impact - your recruitment process should take this into account.

Open AI (continuation from the first question): “Here are some steps you can take to develop successful leadership teams:

  1. define clear roles and responsibilities […]
  2. encourage diversity in the team […]
  3. develop a shared vision and goals […]
  4. encourage open communication […]
  5. promote teamwork and collaboration […]
  6. making decisions […]
  7. resolve conflicts […]”

MB: “How do you promote diversity in a team?”

OpenAI: “Promoting diversity in a leadership team is critical because a diverse leadership team can bring different perspectives, experiences and skills to make better decisions and lead the organization successfully. Here are some steps you can take to promote diversity in a leadership team:

  1. create a culture of diversity and inclusion […]
  2. actively recruit […]
  3. eliminate bias in the hiring process […]
  4. hire a diverse group […]
  5. create opportunities for employee development […]”

MB: Behind these 5 points is continuous, extensive work - and your HR team’s portfolio of topics: How do we eliminate prejudices in the recruitment process? Is our network sufficient to actively approach and recruit candidates? Are managers systematically prepared and supported? How, when and where do they share their experiences so that the organization becomes better and better - and therefore more diverse? Diversity can create fear, because the unknown is often difficult to assess. Mutual exchange can be enormously helpful here. In my view, this would be an important additional point on the list above.

MB: “How do you ensure an effective exchange of experiences among leaders?”

OpenAI: “There are a few steps you can take to ensure an effective exchange of experiences among managers:

  1. create a culture of sharing […]
  2. schedule regular meetings […]
  3. hire a facilitator […]
  4. create a confidential environment […]
  5. document the exchange […]

MB - Summary The development of successful management teams requires a (guided, moderated, structured) examination of the target culture. Culture may be easy to describe in words, but the concrete implementation in everyday life (for example with the questions “What do we expect?”, “What do we not tolerate?” or “How do we react to cultural violations?”, etc.) is far less simple and sometimes very complex. I have had good experiences with formulating a common understanding of leadership with top management teams. It is a first and effective step to link expectations of leaders with the values and culture of the company and then to design effective implementation (teaching, training, coaching). And it promotes and benefits diversity. Because if the result is available in 10 minutes, you can be sure that diversity has fallen victim to an unconcious bias, for example, or that it is not (culturally) safe to bring in different perspectives. Working with a process moderator would then be a good idea.

Although the saying goes “hire for attitude and train for skills”, this approach is of little help when it comes to actively changing the corporate and leadership culture. In this case, companies may have many skilled people, but they have an outdated attitude. They cannot simply replace these employees. Prevent such a situation by demystifying and continuously demanding a discussion about the culture. To do this, focus on concrete expectations. This avoids an endless, verbose but often toothless discussion about culture.

MB - first impression of the collaboration with OpenAI Artificial intelligence provided a variety of answers. While some answers were generated immediately, the in-depth question about the importance of exchanging experiences in particular took a comparatively long time. I cannot judge whether this is an indication of the quality of the question or whether the information procurement was time-consuming. Nevertheless, I have the impression that the ability to ask helpful, in-depth questions remains important. Working with OpenAI demands and promotes the ability to ask good questions. In this respect, OpenAI could be actively used as a tool for leadership development. It is probably worth experimenting with this.

You can find more articles here.

More articles