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High performing teams start with this one important ingredient.

I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few weeks about what it takes to create a great team.  Not just a good team – but a world class team that work together to create exceptional results.   

The truth is, if you lead a world class, high performing team made up of A players, it’s not  because you’re lucky and it didn’t happen by accident.

A high performing team takes work!

Regardless of whether you’re leading a team of people who report directly to you, or you head up a project with a team pulled together from across the business – it’s up to you to engage these people to work cohesively and effectively to implement the strategy.

Take a moment now to think about your team….

Do you have a team of A players?  Or do you have a mixed bag of high performers, average performers and some who drain your time and energy on a daily basis?

Building and nurturing a high performing team is a non-negotiable for me.  I may only have a small team, but it’s a mighty team. 

I love these women and together we create a little collective magic each and every week.  Making do is not an option.  Settling for B and C players is not an option.  Only the best will do.

Leading a high performing team starts with a decision.

You need to decide that a world class team is what you want, what you deserve and that it is indeed possible. No more leaving it up to fate. If you want to be known as a leader who can attract and develop talented people, it starts with deciding that you’ll do what it takes.

The next step… is to make it a priority. 

But the challenge I see is that leaders often make do with the people they’ve got

They are so busy, struggling to keep their workload under control that they fall into the trap of making do and settling for average performance from their team.

It takes time and energy to manage, engage and nurture team members. If you are to build a world class team you must clearly articulate the standards you expect and have the challenging and confronting conversations that at times need to be had. 

It may mean parting ways with some team members.  These decisions are never easy but in hindsight usually turn out to be the turning point not only for you as the leader but also for the rest of the team.

The foundations of a high performing team:

1. Decide

It all starts with deciding that a world class team is your goal.  You must believe it’s possible and then make it your priority.  This may require a slight shift in thinking – away from making do with what you’ve got to expecting more from yourself as a leader and from your team.

2. Set expectations.

Your team cannot live up to your expectations if they don’t know what they are.  Start by setting and communicating what you expect from each individual and collectively as a team.  But don’t stop there.  Provide regular feedback based on these expectations, recognising good performance and specific coaching on areas of improvement.  Recognise great performers love to be stretched and given opportunities for growth. 

3. Lead your people.

To attract and maintain exceptional people you must be a great people leader.  Good people follow good leaders.  Take time to reflect on your leadership of people.  Be honest with yourself… is this an area of growth for you?

So, have you made the decision that you deserve to surround yourself with a high performing team?  Yes.  It does take work – but it’s worth it. 

Everything becomes easier and more enjoyable when you are working effectively towards a common goal.  And it never ceases to amaze me what can be achieved when you bring together the passion and commitment of a great team to make something happen.

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