For any team to be successful you need two essential ingredients, the right people and the right person to lead them.

To create a high-performance team, a team leader has to build trust between their colleagues and have a very clear vision of project goals and how to achieve them. Great leadership is crucial to a team’s success. High-impact leaders create high performing teams.

Intention: It’s not solely about achieving certain goals or actions – but rather, your intention around that goal or action. Intentions are tangible – it is through intentions that we achieve success in all aspects of our lives. I’ve said before that the human mind uses intention to harness its resources, both conscious and unconscious thoughts, to find solutions. As a leader – if you can tap into this internal resource you can use it to define a clear project blueprint and in turn, motivate your team members. Remember: The single most important ingredient in team success is a clear, common, and compelling purpose[1]

Environment: In order to really define your intentions you need to facilitate the type of working environment that supports and inspires your staff. Encourage forward thinking, create an inquisitive atmosphere where people feel safe to express their ideas. In a high performing team, members see themselves as equal participants in the success of the project. An effective work team is a group of engaged individuals. In “The Toyota Way”, Jeffrey Liker tells us, “the center of TPS (Toyota Production System) is people. A common phrase heard around Toyota is “before we build cars we build people.”[2]

Structure: Developing clear roles at the outset of any given project defines the individual’s responsibilities within their team. Once this is defined, a concise and thought out process will help the team function to a high standard and will also serve as a reference on how far they have come in a project and how far they have to go. Role and process definition is achieved by discussion – and lots of it! Which is why it is important to foster a culture of contribution within a team environment.

Authenticity: A good leader is a genuine leader. They are honest, and not so concerned with portraying a ‘perfect authoritarian’ image. In order to encourage active team participation, a good leader knows when to listen and when to ask the hard questions. A leader who actively displays these characteristics, builds a culture of trust within their sphere of influence. In return they will see this same faithfulness and authenticity reciprocated by their team members. This is the grease in the operational wheels of any project. Without open and honest lines of communication win a team, projects can stall and sometimes ground to a halt.

Follow Through: The ability to cut through distraction, procrastination and follow through with commitments is a crucial aspect of any high performing team. It is a leader’s responsibility to set small achievable goals, and keep their team accountable. “Great business teams have a supportive performance management system.”[3]

So remember a high performing team needs great people, great leaders and a common purpose led by strong intention, communication and trust.


[1] http://www.di.net/articles/a-process-to-build-high-performance-teams/

[2] http://www.lce.com/How_do_you_create_a_high_performance_team_399-item.html

[3] http://www.guttmandev.com/news-detail/create-a-high-performance-team

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