Unleash the power of team

How high performing teams make their leaders look great.

How high performing teams make their leaders look great.

“My model for business is the Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of its parts. That’s how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs

I may be stating the obvious here but there’s no doubt great teams are great for business as well as for you as a leader. Just as the late Steve Jobs recognised, success is only possible with a great team. It’s the magic that happens when the sum of all its parts come together.

If you think creating a high performing team is just too hard and you’re currently settling for good rather than great, take a minute to consider three ways in which high performing teams can benefit you as a leader.

1.    High performing teams give leaders visibility

As a leader, your success is your team’s success. When they perform well, it reflects well on your leadership. When they perform poorly, the reverse is also true. As the name suggests, high performing teams perform greater than other teams who don’t have these characteristics. How you measure their performance can be through a range of factors. One of the most popular measures of high performance is engagement as it’s strongly linked to financial performance. Gallup’s current global engagement data has revealed that highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% per share.

2.    High performing teams give space for their leader operate strategically

Leaders who spend their time micro-managing, fire-fighting or engaging in endless problem solving don’t have time to operate strategically as they are busy doing the work that team members are failing to achieve. When team members have both clarity and connection, they hold each other accountable, leadership can be shared and it drives innovation. This enables the leader to take on cross-functional responsibilities, aligning key stakeholders and inspiring change at a broader level.

3.    High performing teams give leaders more opportunities

When your team is succeeding and operating more strategically, you will be noticed, acknowledged and rewarded. Leaders of high performing teams are more likely to be promoted quickly or put on high potential programmes. A good Forbes article that reinforces this point - 10 keys to identifying people with high potential - lists several areas that relate to a leader’s capability to create the characteristics essential for high-performance teams.

High performing teams have both the power to transform your business and your leadership. Taking time out to understand the powerful benefits for you in leading this change is a great place to get started. Want to take the first essential steps to building a high performing team? Come along to our next free team leadership learning event.

Sarah Friis is an author, facilitator and mentor of high performance teams. She has recently co-authored The Power of Team - A practical guide to breakthrough performance. Sarah has a Masters in Psychology and is co-founder of The Performance Team, a leading New Zealand consultancy dedicated to unleashing the power of team.