Preventing Clique Management with Dream Team Detox

by / ⠀Career Advice / May 7, 2022
clique leadership, family and friends,

You’ve finally assembled a cohesive team—key personnel who virtually complete each other’s sentences. They collaborate well, share ideas, and their enthusiasm is contagious. So, why isn’t this resulting in a better organization, a more robust culture, or more enormous profits? Is it possible that your ideal team is more clique than leadership? Is diversity exclusion still holding things up?

Cliquish leadership may lead to harmful conduct and damage your company’s core. Here are several warning indications that your leadership team is a clique and suggestions for how to assist your firm detox.

1. Job Pooling

While mutual support is an essential component of a great team, it should not entail blurring the job description of each member’s duty. Cliques will often deny that any one of them is fully responsible for specific results instead of asking that everyone chip in and share the burden. This sort of leadership makes measuring individual success very difficult. The leadership intention is to protect the clique rather than your organization.

It is critical that each person recognizes and understands their unique job. At each meeting, you should emphasize this by assessing particular KPIs (key performance indicators). Holding each member of leadership responsible for their job and results does not reduce their capacity to help coworkers, but it does assess individual performance.

Clearly defined responsibilities and KPIs will not be enough to avoid cliquish leadership. On the other hand, individual responsibility will discourage work-sharing from safeguarding the clique.

2. Plan with Friends and Family Clique

Your team evaluates other workers in what ways? Is everyone held accountable for particular KPIs, or do they seem optional for some and weapons against others? Employees who stray from business standards are likely to be outside the clique, while those we don’t like we take out as nonperformers.

If everyone on your team is not adhering to the same code of conduct, employee retention may suffer. Indeed, recruiting and training expenses may rise.

Employees, like your leadership, should have clearly defined duties and performance metrics. That is to say, they must satisfy parameters regardless of who they are friends with or connected to.

3. “If It Ain’t Broke” Attitude

Companies develop and prosper via innovation and increased expectations. If your leadership team adopts a “good enough” attitude to ideas or more significant effort, this is a clique that has formed its way of doing things. Allowing change, no matter how beneficial to the business, is not healthy for them.

Leading with the fixed perspective that what got the firm here today will get it tomorrow is not the kind of leadership that will help your company flourish. Failure to prosper may not be your primary concern if you get stuck under cliquish leadership; changing your whole leadership team will be.

When making choices to make changes or implement new procedures or rules, make them unambiguously. You are the company’s visionary as the owner, and it is up to your executives to execute your vision, not the future of their clique.

Seeking and being attentive to ideas and comments is a fantastic method to counteract your prospective attitude. Still, after you’ve examined all considerations, it’s decision time. Ensure you update KPIs to reflect the assumption that performance and results will reflect any new modifications you’ve implemented.

4. Unspoken Agendas

A clique opposed to change or increased effort will go to great lengths to further its goal. This might be anything like promoting one of their own or any other adjustment that increases the clique’s status inside the company.

Clique leadership will hash out specifics to their benefit when offering new ideas or suggestions. Meanwhile, portraying them as in harmony with corporate development or effort. It will include just enough truth to be believable, just like any excellent deception. If the leaders get more perks than the business, this is a significant red indicator that your ideal team is a clique.

To defend against prejudice, critical judgments need a devil’s advocate strategy in discernment. Involving your team in decision-making is a crucial development tactic. Meetings should follow particular guidelines for discussion and brainstorming. Leaders should utilize a format for explaining the issue, clarifying questions, and discussing.

Make it a habit to thank everyone for their criticism and suggestions. Moreover, then spend some time alone to examine all of the implications. Inform your team leaders of your choice and just outline the next steps toward execution as a courtesy.

Consistent critical analysis practice and a process for debate and decision-making guarantee that concealed motives are never exposed.


Your leadership team was most likely a clique. Cliques are widespread in the workplace and may arise for various reasons. Meanwhile some may be innocent, just rooted in workplace kinship, a leadership clique wields power over its members.

Cliques have an “in our out” mindset. Moreover, even the CEO of a cliquish leadership team might find themselves on the outside looking in, battling to reclaim control of their organization. Cliques are similar to group-think in that the emotional stakes of joining may trump logical cognition or conduct.

Establish clear expectations for each function, use critical thinking that searches for bias, and be decisive. These measures may help keep your ideal team from becoming a clique and your firm from being toxic.

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