It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.
There is little doubt Uncle Walt and his “nine old men” revolutionized the film industry while creating some of the most memorable (and profitable) characters. After the success of Disney films Walt stood back, admiring the recently built impossibility, and gained a sense of accomplishment.
While this level of success is unlikely to be replicated, there are commonalities found in teams who have changes industries.
Here are some tips for building a high performing team:
The right players produce the right results, and the right results are worth the investment in the right players. Jim Collins famously calls this, “First Who, Then What.” Focusing first on having the needed skills, experience, mindsets and abilities sets the strongest foundation to achieve. This means being selective. It is arguably the single largest lever in building a high performing team.
Whether is costs more, you have to wait longer, or you need to negotiate with talent, the investment is worth building the right team.
Divide and Conquer
Borrowing on “First Who, Then What,” team members need to be in the right seat. High performing teams not only leverage uniqueness within the team, they define clear roles. Let natural-born leaders lead; ensure subject matter experts (SMEs) are heard and valued, give time and space for workhorses to produce and offer the freedom for agitators and wild-cards to question.
Individuals thrive when focused on respective functional areas. Allowing individuals to thrive allows the collective to thrive.
Cast the Vision
Casting vision sounds simplistic but often forgotten. The vision is the very reason the team exists: a mission statement, guiding principle or mantra. Present the challenge and build everything around it.
Spend the time to develop a team mission statement and define how team members can support the mission.
Remember the Individual
Whether empathy, compassion or a desire to create opportunities to engage team members individually each team member is a vital part of your team. Leverage individual talents and acknowledge the individual as a person. Check-ins about life or a recent personal event go a long way in helping individuals feel valued.
High-performance teams are driven more from inspiration than motivation, think pull versus push. Inspiration is part leadership and part mentorship, part process and part gut. It is active, enthusiastic, and individualized. It drives a sense of capability beyond what is believed to produce work above the norm. High performing teams can regularly produce at inspired levels, if the inspiration is regular. Though powerful, inspiration is short-lived.
Be constant and consistent in sharing the team’s vision. Keep activity on mission and remove any mystery around current progress.
By building a high performing team you’re putting yourself on the road to success and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. What are some strategies you’ve implemented to encourage your team?