10 Tips in Leading a High Performance Team

leadership May 17, 2021

When a team is functioning well together, it gets things done. Whether it’s in sports or business, a high performance team generally consists of a leader who is efficient in growing others, and team members who are highly motivated and self-driven. Here are my top 10 Tips in Leading A High Performance Team, that will create results and take your team and organization to the next level.

1. Select the right people for the team. 

In order for the team to perform well, the leader’s first call of duty is to get the right people on the team. By right I mean, people who are self-motivated. Self-motivated people don't need to be micromanaged. They are driven from within and are passionate about producing top-notch results. 

2. Invest in the development of your team.

In order for a team to be on the cutting-edge, its members must have the resources and training they need. Hence, If leaders want to be successful, they must be willing to empower others. Provide them with resources such as training and individual coaching, to deal with any internal or external barriers that might be impeding their success.

3. Assign the right people the right positions.

When I played soccer many years ago, the coach assigned me to the striker position on the team. That was my area of strength. Someone else who was more proficient in stopping the ball from going into the net was assigned the role of goal keeper. Creating and leading a high-performing team is just like that, you have to assign people roles, according to competence, skills-set and area of passion. 

4. Ensure the team knows the organization’s “why.”

Before the team sets out to engage in its “what,” it needs to first know “why.” This means being clear on the organization’s purpose and the reason for which it exists. For example, the “what” describes the products or services the company offers to its clients, whereas the “why” describes the company's purpose or its sense of “calling.”

5. Set challenging goals.

It is critical as a leader to set challenging goals with your team. A good practice in goal setting is to brainstorm with the team on what would be its annual, quarterly, monthly, or weekly goals. By so doing, team members will take ownership of the project, since they now have vested interest in it. Secondly, you want to ensure the goals are challenging enough, so that it will stretch individuals and cause them to grow in the process. 

6. Nurture team cohesion.

One way of creating team cohesion is to have team members identify qualities they each consider important for the team's performance. Once this is done, together decide on the ones the team will be held accountable to. Qualities could include trust, cooperation, and commitment, just to name a few. Secondly, nurture team cohesion by creating regular opportunities to build connection and camaraderie.

7. Evaluate the team’s performance.

Evaluate your team's performance at lease once per quarter. Have each member rate his/her performance on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being most satisfied. Once a number is chosen, ask the individual, to recommend the ideal rating she desires and what would he/she be willing to do to get there. This process is empowering and ultimately improves the performance of the entire team. 

 8. Provide timely feedback

Feedback is a necessary tool in effectively leading a high-performing team. Be timely with your feedback. Let the team and its members know how you think they are doing, what seems to be working well and what you think they could do to be more effective. The feedback is more effective when done in the moment, so that the appropriate adjustments can be made in a timely manner. 

9. Grow yourself as a leader.

As a leader be mindful of the fact that you cannot lead people farther than you have gone yourself. Keep learning. Hire a coach, read, attend leadership training. As a matter of fact, Whenever you expand yourself, you are expanding your horizons, your options, your opportunities, and your potential.

10. Celebrate victories as a team.

Winning has a positive effect on one’s mental state and team morale. Celebrating team victories therefore, reinforces the positive outcomes experienced, builds momentum, highlights desired actions and gets the team in the frame of mine to stay the course and succeed again.