Leadership is Required

Today’s guest post from Mark Miller, a well known business leader, best-selling author, and communicator, who’s excited about sharing The Secret of Teams: What Great Teams Know and Do with those who are ready to grow. Mark blogs at Great Leaders Serve.

In unpacking some of the lessons I’ve learned over the last 20 years about creating high-performance teams, I uncovered what may be the greatest learning of all…

No team drifts to high performance – leadership is required.

I hesitate to call this a learning; perhaps it would be more appropriately called a reminder. Samuel Johnson said, “Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.”

The role of effective leadership can rarely be overstated. Everything rises and falls on leadership is a phrase that was popularized by John Maxwell. However, the truth of that idea is as old as recorded history. It’s true in businesses, churches, schools, government, and even in our families.  It’s also true in creating high-performance teams.

Here are a few things a leader must do to create a high-performance team:

Decide to Build a High Performance Team – This is the first step. There are many ways to organize to do work. There are many strategies to drive performance.  The leader must decide.

Assess the Talent on Your Team – Do you have the right people around the table? If you don’t, what’s your plan to make it right?

Evaluate the Skills of Your Team – Do they have the individual and team skills needed to accomplish the vision? If not, you get to create a plan to close the skill gaps.

Commit to Building Community – For some leaders, this will be one of the most counterintuitive things you’ve ever done. However, assuming you get the Talent and Skills right, this will be the most important thing you do as a leader. This part of the process will turbo-charge your team’s performance.

Clarify Roles and Expectations – Be sure your team knows exactly what the new expectations are. Be sure your role and theirs is crystal clear. Here’s a link to a 4-minute video about the role of the leader in a high-performance team environment.

Delegate Real Responsibility – You’ve got to be willing to give the team real work. As they mature, you need to give them more and more challenging assignments.

Stay the Course – There will be times when your team may want to abandon the journey. There may be times when you or the organization becomes impatient with your progress – don’t quit! Here’s a link to a FREE High-Performance Team Assessment. I hope it will be helpful.



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