Why is it that some teams consistently produce superior results while others struggle to make the cut?
Why was Manchester United Football Club so dominant under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson; winning 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups and 2 UEFA Champions Leagues? They had a couple of star players, but on paper, they were just as good as any other team.
Why did one car dealership consistently outsell all the other car dealerships in the same vicinity? They all sold the same type of cars for the same amount of money?
Why did one software development team consistently produce more innovative solutions than other teams in the same organisation? They all had access to the same resources.
Over the past 10-years I have been working with high-performance teams around the world to better understand their formula for success, and whilst they are all unique in their own special way, there are a handful of collective attributes that they all share in common.
My new book, '5 Pillars of Team Performance' will be released in the coming weeks. Here's an excerpt from it.
An Introduction to Teamwork
I have a group of people reporting to me, therefore I have a team… This is a common misconception by many leaders, as they struggle to get their people to work together, let alone consistently deliver superior results.
What is Teamwork?
Simply put, teamwork is when a group of people work towards a common goal. Nothing more. Nothing less!
What is a High-Performance Team?
High-performance teams occur when a group of people work cohesively to consistently produce superior results.
A group of people does not make a team, and high-performance teams rarely happen by chance.
5 Pillars of Team Performance
The 5 Pillars of Team Performance provides leaders with a framework to develop high-performance teams.
The 5 Pillars
- High-performance teams are driven by a shared purpose.
- High-performance team value their team and teamwork.
- High-performance teams communicate often and openly.
- High-performance teams are collaborative leaders.
- High-performance teams are focussed on continuous growth.
If you don’t know who you are, why you exist or where you are going, how will you ever get there?
High-performance teams are driven by a shared purpose. They know their role and how it contributes to the team's overall success.
- Shared Vision: High-performance teams are driven by a clear, concise and compelling purpose that they helped to define.
- Clearly Defined Roles: High-performance teams have clearly defined roles, responsibilities and areas of accountability.
- Results Focus: High-performance teams are focused on delivering results, and continually strive to outperform.
It’s the leader’s responsibility to help the team and individuals within the team to find that purpose and focus on achieving their goals.
Team spirit is a concept that is often referred to in sporting arenas but plays an equally important role in the workplace.
What is team spirit? Simply put, team spirit is a belief that the team is only as strong as its weakest link.
High-performance teams value their team and teamwork. They believe that the success of the team is dependent on the contribution and success of every individual.
- Cohesiveness: High-performance teams stick together and remain united in the pursuit of a common goal, irrespective of the situation.
- Pride: High-performance teams have high levels of pride in everything they do as individuals and as a team.
- Fun: High-performance teams understand that continued success cannot be achieved if the team is not having fun.
It’s the leader’s responsibility to create opportunities for the team to bond, recognise and appreciate what each team member brings to the team.
Positive communication leads to positive work environments. Negative communication leads to negative work environments.
High-performance teams communicate often and openly. They recognise and value communication that leads to positive outcomes.
- Regular Dialogue: High-performance teams engage in regular dialogue, where everyone gets a chance to contribute.
- Feedback Culture: High-performance teams value feedback, as it is provided on a regular basis with an emphasis on feedforward.
- Proactive Conflict Resolution: High-performance teams view conflict positively, and proactively diffuse tension and friction in a ‘safe’ environment.
It’s the leader’s responsibility to encourage regular dialogue and foster ’safe’ communication channels.
A good leader is someone who demonstrates a genuine interest in the success and well-being of the people in his or her care.
High-performance teams are collaborative leaders. They value shared accountability and decision-making.
- Facilitative Leadership: High-performance teams have highly competent leaders who facilitate decision-making.
- Shared Decision-Making: High-performance teams make decisions as a team in relation to the team’s direction, performance and processes.
- Shared Accountability: High-performance teams have clear lines of accountability and reporting; team members hold one another accountable.
It’s the leader’s responsibility to foster self-leadership by engaging the team and involving them in decision making.
Change is constant and is occurring at a faster pace than ever. If you are not growing in tandem you will fall behind.
High-performance teams are focussed on continuous growth. They recognise that the status quo is one step from failure.
- Continuous Improvement: High-performance teams understand that the status quo is only one step from failure, and continuously strive to improve.
- Continuous Development: High-performance teams are continuously looking to develop the attributes needed for now and in the future.
- Learning Culture: High-performance teams have a learning culture where the team actively acquires and shares knowledge.
It’s the leader’s responsibility to foster an environment whereby the team and team members continue to grow.
High-performance teams rarely happen by chance. They are the result of careful planning and excellent leadership.
If you like this article please like and share it with your network.