20 habits of high-performing leadership teams

Jurriaan Kamer
2 min readMay 11, 2023

> I am writing a book about the habits of high-performing leadership teams. Learn more about it here! <

Here are 14 signs that your leadership team might not actually be a well-functioning team:

  1. Being merely a bundle of ‘reporting lines’ without shared work
  2. Top leader(s) chairs their meeting and speaks most
  3. Constant rabbit-holing and talking past each other
  4. Spend most of their time reviewing PowerPoints
  5. Members have many 1:1s with each other outside shared meeting time
  6. Their meeting is canceled when the top leader isn’t present
  7. Pleasing the leader, optics to get a promotion
  8. Top leader(s) have the ‘final say’ on all decisions
  9. Are involved in status update marathons
  10. Are in endless meetings that could have been async emails/chat/videos
  11. Maintains endless lists of ‘priorities’ that are mere ‘wishlists’
  12. A mindset of striving for perfection, planning & controlling
  13. Elephants in the room are left unaddressed
  14. Blaming your people for the lack of results

Now, contrast this with the best ones I’ve ever seen:


1. Ask clarifying questions before reacting
2. Ask: ‘is it safe-to-try’ instead of ‘is it perfect’?
3. Use a different process for reversible and irreversible decisions
4. Clarity on which types of decisions need group consent and which don’t


5. Spend monthly recurring time for reflecting on and improving the team
6. Team works ‘on’ the organization: running experiments to improve its Operating System
7. Feedback is flowing freely between members
8. Member’s learning goals are shared openly to help each other achieve them


9. Members have participated and co-created the strategy
10. The strategy contains clear trade-offs, clarity on what NOT to do
11. Uses cycles of ’90 day outcomes’ that they are working against together
12. Reviews steering metrics to know if their shared work is progressing


13. Their meeting routine drives the work forward
14. Uses a tool like Trello, Notion, or Planner to capture projects and actions
15. The role of the meeting facilitator rotates between members
16. Uses asynchronous workflow: chat/audio/video for updates and unblocking


17. Equal talking time; everyone makes proposals
18. Disagreement is seen as an opportunity to explore multiple truths
19. Members name feelings and hold space for processing tension
20. Models the behavior shift they’d like to see in the rest of their organization

The red thread: participation, co-creation, equality, adult-adult, accountability, consent, continuous change.

Due to the popularity of this post, I have started to write a book about the habits of high-performing leadership teams. Contact me to register as a beta reader and get early access, or subscribe to my newsletter to stay updated.



Jurriaan Kamer

Org design & transformation | Author of ‘Formula X’ | Speaker | Future of Work