Do you remember when you were in a team where everyone was valued, everyone was respected, and you performed amazing feats but everyone still got along? Unfortunately this doesn’t occur quite as consistently as it should.
I’ve been really lucky to have had the opportunity to be in great teams like this a few times. I’ve got some tips which I think might help to re-create these sorts of high performing teams more often:
- Communicate a vision for success linked to the big picture. People commit where they understand the bigger purpose. It’s important to take the time to be clear on what the big picture is, what success looks like. This will probably take some time listening to team members. Once you think you know what the big picture and path to success looks like, test it with your teams.
- Involve people in decisions. This provides better decisions, and more buy in. Mostly the people doing the work know best how to see things improve.
- Celebrate the journey’s wins and share the challenges. It’s important for leaders to model the openness they expect from their team: be transparent and make progress visible.
- Practice the diligent, accountable leadership traits you expect from your teams. Actions speak louder than any powerpoint pack. You must be accountable for results; trust your staff; be diligent with facts, planning, preparation and process; and listen to stakeholders and team members. If you can consistently do these things, and come clean when you mess up, people are more likely to practice these things themselves also.
Where I’ve seen this work: “Premium” at WorkCover and “Unify” at Virgin Australia created high performance teams. They reached ambitious targets through process, culture and teamwork. The people on these teams were brilliant! Reflection on the approach of the talented leaders in these teams, combined with reflecting on some management theory, provided the methods above (i.e. these methods have been tried across more than one company and team; and seem to work).
Please share your thoughts!