LTT Business Bulletin - October 2014
Colin Chodos, Managing Director of Corporate Connection Strategies
and leading LTT speaker, explains why developing a high performance
leadership team is not beyond any CEO
If I had to ask you to name a ‘High Performance Team’ (HPT) … I’m sure you are thinking along the lines of the All Blacks, the ‘Sydney Swans, perhaps the Sydney Symphony Orchestra or the Red Bull Racing Team. When I ask the question of leadership teams and who they would consider to be the epitome of a ‘high performing team’ (HPT), seldom would anyone volunteer their own team as an example.
Although people know how to define and understand the principles of a HPT, it appears far more difficult to achieve when it comes to the realisation or implementation within a business context. Also of interest, is that when I challenge people about whether they would like to lead a ‘champion team’, or a ‘team of champions’, they all select the former, knowing that that’s what ultimately delivers serious competitive advantage and extraordinary commercial results.
So why do so many leaders accept mediocre performing leadership teams? Is it because the benefits of leading a HPT are not considered and therefore the goal to achieve this status is never set? Is it because leaders think about the performance of their team as ‘individuals’? Is it perhaps that simply put, there is no devoted ‘team time’, because every moment is focused on operations and delivery?
Furthermore it could be that a leader inherits a dysfunctional team and the effort or process to turn it around seems impossible without changing people within the team … so there is a delay getting the process started?
Like the onset of good or bad weather, there are always signals that provide early warning to the pending changes within a team. I’ve been called into many teams recently where the signals have been blasting ‘caution’ for some time, resulting in poor leadership performance and major negative impact on the bottom line.
Sadly too many distractions have caused the management to miss blatant behaviour indicators … such as cliques developing within the team; eroded confidentiality; passive aggression and the inability of the leaders to confront each other or effectively manage disagreements.
No matter where you sit with regard to this issue, it’s never too late to begin this exciting HPT journey. Most of the individuals who report to their managers desperately want to be part of something special. You as a leader have the privilege and opportunity to ensure your team have HPT entitlements rather than expectations.
They are entitled to demand accountability and respect from each other. They are entitled to openly challenge poor decisions. They are entitled to expect support from one another.
The correct mental and emotional mindset of members of a high performing team is the responsibility of the ‘leader’ of the team, as much as it is the responsibility of each individual on the team.
Building this capability set unleashes the talent around the table at another level … and best of all, you are entitled to expect each of your team to deliver in spades.
Colin Chodos has been working with organisations for 20+ years to develop and implement their strategic initiatives, and develop and nurture high performance leadership teams. Colin can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org