Imagine the life of the team… motivated, working well together with a can-do attitude, and a clear purpose. And, to top this, the team consistently achieves effective and satisfying results without intervention by the team leader.
Well, maybe not.
A more likely scenario has everyone pulling in slightly different directions, working in ways each person is comfortable, and doing a decent yet unremarkable job. More times than not, the group seeks guidance and intervention from the manager.
One is the high-performance team. The other is not.
Why? Because high-performance teams always have a common aim and hold themselves mutually accountable for getting things done.
Stick with me, and I’ll guide you with five lazy truths about leading high performing teams.
But first, let’s examine teams, and what makes them very different to a group of people. After all, if you can’t tell the difference between them, how will you know what you got?
What Makes a Team?
What is a team? Or, of greater importance, what makes a team?
Yes, teamwork. Teamwork is essential to attain high performance. Teamwork happens when people work together and are both able to influence and be influenced.
What’s more, teamwork results in more effective decision-making because people accept responsibility for their actions. Teams have an elevated sense of responsibility.
Leadership happens in teams. This may seem pretty obvious, but it is an often neglected truth.
The role of the team leader is to focus group efforts towards a common goal, which means people work together for a common purpose. This is absolutely necessary when building a high performing team.
When the best leader’s work is done the people say: We did it ourselves! – Lao Tzu
5 Ways Toward Building a High-Performance Team
Okay, let me be straight with you, this guide can’t really be considered cheating. It’s just the way it’s done when you want high performance.
In other words, there are no shortcuts to team building. However, if you do these five things, you will see extraordinary results.
Formalize tasks into new working practices
Formalizing tasks is crucial. It is the only way to embed good practice.
But, there’s more!
Formalizing tasks into new working practices is not just about team processes. No, it’s about those outside the team too!
The team must determine working practices for both the team and those who interact with the team to avoid others undermining team objectives.
Encourage team members to coach each other
Quite simply, leading others isn’t easy.