What is the simplest way to see if a leadership team is up to speed, on the same page, and in possession of an achievable vision? Ask senior executives to draw one picture that best illustrates their individual contribution to the team and the organization.
The Chief Executive Officer
Think of this as the moral of the story made visual—the simplest possible image that explains the company’s strategy in the clearest possible way.
The Chief Marketing Officer
When the CMO needs to say “we are doing this for these people,” nothing beats a simple portrait illustrating the who and the what.
The Chief Financial Officer
If the CEO can’t show the numbers in a way that makes sense, how can we be sure he knows them himself?
The Chief Strategy Officer
The CSO’s job is also to make sure everyone else sees where those moves are going to take the organization—so that map better be clear and readable and show the potential minefields.
The Chief Operating Officer
That’s why the COO’s best friend is the timeline: the single picture that shows what needs to get done, who is doing it, and most important, in what order.
The Chief Technology Officer
She draws the flowchart showing how the pieces interact, how the information flows, and how to monitor all the incoming data. It’s usually the most complex picture, so it requires clarity.
The images don’t need to be elaborate, polished, or perfect. They do need to be created, shared, and seen. If, before the next executive presentation, you want to make sure they’re on the same page, then hand out pens and tell everyone, “No talking; show me.”