Creating a Top Performing Team
When it comes to creating a top performing team that is recognized as industry leaders’ month over month, year over year there’s no silver bullet but there are most certainly key ingredients for the magic sauce that you must have, to create such a force. While it is extremely rare that you’ll have a team of equally talented, equaled gifted individuals, it is however very common to have a team of individuals gifted by their own right. Too many times leaders are depending on the energy that each person brings instead of relying on the synergy created by the team.
Your top performer won’t carry you to victory and your low performer won’t sink the ship. Between the culture you create and the inspiration you provide daily, whether you have a team full of self-motivated go-getters or an even spread of low, middle and top grade performers, what your team is able to accomplish depends solely on how they operate TOGETHER. If you’ve been struggling to create the type of team culture that produces more than just average performance results, read on my friend. I’m going to give you 4 winning strategies to take your team’s performance to the next level and keep it there consistently, while growing.
Before we jump into the strategies, let’s clear some of the basics. It’s impossible to have a team that consistently performs above the expectation if the leader hasn’t created a culture that promotes high achievement, maintaining a winning attitude and pushing beyond limits. Don’t misunderstand, these are not powerful demands you put on your team members, these are state of minds you create in each of them, collectively. So, with that being said, your strategy number one is:
#1 Create winning mindsets. This is mission number one and it’s the most critical. You have to cultivate a winning mindset within every member of the team. This will require that you actually spend some time talking with and getting to know your team members individually. You need to understand their fears, their challenges, what motivates them, what they contribute to the team. Once you have a solid understanding of these things you can speak life into their heart and clearly connect them to the vision. People are not moved to action until you have first touched their heart. People will not see or connect with the vision until they understand the role they play. All of these are important in creating a winning mindset because once you have a winning mindset, you know that there are no limits to the success you can achieve and you fight extra hard to stay close to a vision you feel is part of your story.
#2 Visualize the goal. See the goal, feel the goal, know the goal, love the goal! The goals have to be brought to life. They must be part of the team and part of the conversation. Everyone should be able to see the goals daily and often. Each team member should be able to confidently explain the goals, their personal progress towards the goal and the team’s progress towards the goal. Seeing, hearing and discussing the goals should be a daily part of what the team does, not some awkward conversation that produces stress and tension. Everyone should know that they are capable of achieving the goal regardless of how difficult it may seem or what obstacles stand in the way.
#3 Celebrate the small wins. For Leaders who are expecting great results and work towards great results this can sometimes be a challenge because you don’t want to celebrate mediocrity or convey a false perception that we’ve somehow prematurely reached success and we have not yet achieved the goal. This type of thinking, while good intent, can actually cause more harm than good. Nothing demotivates a team faster than the thought of their efforts never being enough. Imagine working your tail off for something, 30 days straight and you only received recognition on the 31st day when the goal had been met. Forget the triumph you had week 1 when you over produced for that same time period the month before and don’t even think about getting credit for now being 2nd place when last month you were 2nd to last. As much as it may pain you to admit, your Team needs a little bit of ego stroking. They like to be recognized even for small wins because in their mind it means that they’re doing something right. *BIG HINT* This is a key ingredient to building momentum! Don’t ego stroke your hand to sleep but provided that positive feedback to keep them going. They’ll work even harder to achieve even greater if it means they’ll get your attention and recognition.
#4 Highlight Everyone’s Gift. Every single person on your Team has something special to contribute, even your negative Nancy. As the Leader, it’s your job to discover what that gift is, if it’s not apparent. Sometimes it’s small, sometimes it’s monumental but each time its unique. This is the part of Leadership not many will connect with because we let our own priorities and goals get in the way and we really don’t take the time to know and understand our Team members past their name and date of hire. Don’t be fooled. This will not be an easy task if the Team member isn’t one who has already identified their own talents. Those Team members will be easy to highlight because they actively display and demonstrate their talents on the world stage.
The challenge will be your introverted Team members, your Team members who are so humble they hide their talents cautious not to seem arrogant. And of course, your Team members who really have not explored themselves well enough to find their gifts or the ones who truly believe they have none. This is where the challenge comes in. This is where you dig into your Leader tool box and build the necessary rapport to seek out that gift, wherever it may be hiding and highlight it amongst the Team. It’s important for every Team member to know what the other brings and how they present value to the Team. When your Team members value one another, you’ve created a little bit more than just a team, you’ve got a family on your hands. And that my friend, is an awesome problem to have.
I hope this article has been helpful. Please feel free to leave a comment or share with your colleagues. Reach me directly at www.joniholifield.com