Corporate Teamwork Leadership Principles

What Goldman Sachs Looks for in Leaders reports on Goldman Sach's nine leadership principles which is the product of over a year of senior time. Good leadership, the bank says, is built on teamwork and change and grounded in integrity and fairness.

A leader must have a clear vision and the communication skills needed to execute.Cynics might say that the bank's nine principles are just “motherhood and apple pie” but I think that’s being unfair.

Three of the principles resonate with me in terms of trying to create more natural, fast-moving, quick-learning, self-managed teams, based on bioteaming principles:

Build Strong Client and Other External Relationships

Nature is built on symbiosis which means deep relationships of long-standing mutual value between independent species.

If we took this principle seriously with our customers and suppliers it would make a huge difference to the mutual benefits produced by our teams.

Drive Teamwork Within and Between Businesses

It is interesting that Goldmans point to “teamwork between businesses” as being crucial to the future success of the bank.

More and more success depends on a leader’s ability to collaborate with people who they cannot control organisationally and to be prepared to work in that twilight zone between enterprises.

Debate Freely, Decide Swiftly, and Commit

Wow! That’s a tall order in one sentence - let’s unpick it.

Many teams “Debate Freely, Decide Swiftly or Commit” - i.e. they can do one of these three things.

I suggest a team will be “pretty good” if it can do two out of three and will become “absolutely great” if it can do all three.

'Many a slip between cup and lip' - however……

Now there is a very long way between laying out a nice set of principles and implementing them however we could do a lot worse than to circulate Goldman Sach’s nine principles within our own organisations to stimulate much needed debate on leadership and teamwork.

To see the other six principles you will need to read the article - you have to login to but its free and painless.

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