How to build a high performing team
Dec 22, 2021
What is it, that 'thing' that sets apart the ordinary from the extraordinary?
The status quo from the exceptional?
The achievers from the high performers?
Looking ahead to 2022 and the opportunity that exists for those who are striving for high performance we thought it would be helpful to start to identify what the 'it' is that sets apart those who are achieving from those who are high performers.
There seems to be three factors that are a common theme for high performance businesses, business leaders and teams -
One of the most common themes we hear from business owners and leaders is that they wish they had better discipline. Plans are always made with the best of intentions – be it setting strategic direction, training and development plans for the team, proactive staff conversations, better cash management, improving the GP by 1% - whatever it is. The clutter and daily noise that we are all faced with (pinging phones, new emails by the dozen, staff queries, customer calls, supply chain issues) can drown out those best intentions, and often we are left barely floating with our heads above water. However, it is the habits, the discipline that sets apart high-performance teams. Part of this too, is the discipline to delegate, and allow space and time to spend on the important, not just on the urgent.
How is your discipline?
Is your action list full of unticked “important” items?
One of my clients was told before Christmas by a potential employee that they would come and work for a leader, but not a boss. This reflects the fact that more and more people are looking for something more than just employment. As Millennials and Gen Z’s start to make up a larger proportion of the workforce, quality leadership becomes more and more vital. Leadership is the ability to have a vision, share that vision, and inspire others to join you on the journey towards that vision. It is about making people feel seen and heard and valued. It is one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of being a business owner or leader. It is something that requires passion and (to use a term from one of our own team members) relentless pursuit.
How would you rate your leadership capability?
What would your team say about your leadership skills?
Yes, I know, culture has definitely been a buzz word, and as many of you know I am not a fan of buzz words! When thinking about high performance and how to develop a high-performance team though, culture is critical. If your strategy is to build a high-performance team then culture is the place to start. It requires consistent, intentional attention to the little things.
This means starting slowly, being clear about your intent along the journey, holding others (and yourself accountable), and not giving up when it becomes challenging. The journey to a high-performance culture is not an easy one, and there will be times along the way where you question your convictions.
What does a high-performance culture look and feel like? It is a group of people who are highly motivated, who actually want to be in the office/around their colleagues, who celebrate each other’s success, who work as a team to pick up the slack when people are under the pump, healthy competition is present but gossiping and toxic behaviour is not, productive conflict and quality awkward conversations are part of the norm, there is plenty of laughter and where above all there is respect and trust – trust to be 100% authentic, and trust that it is ok to fail sometimes. And when you get there – it is exceptional. Then you move onto the next challenge – keeping a great culture which requires just as much intention and perseverance.
As a side, in a tight labour market and thinking about potential staffing challenges… this high-performance culture is your secret weapon for staff retention and attraction. Can you afford not to commit to it?
On a scale of 1-10 where 10 = high performance, how would you rate your culture?
What do you want your culture to look like in 2022?
There will be ongoing challenges in 2022 – however the opportunity is there for those who will reach out and take it, for those who can push into the realms of high-performance. What will you do?