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The 9 Habits of High Performance Teams

We all know that good results in companies and sports depends on high performing people and teams, correct? But what do we do, to build a high performance team? What habits do they have?

High performance teams emerge when members take responsibility, choosing to take ownership for the well-being of the team. They become willing to do whatever is necessary to become exceptionally successful.

Highly productive and successful teams are characterized by the following habits. This is based on Mark McGregor’s definition, which I have learned, used personally and in my teams with great success:


Responsibility – Do you take the driver’s seat?
We believe that we are in the driver’s seat and the future is in our hands. We maintain a “Yes we can” attitude, knowing “if is going to be, it’s up to me”. Therefore we take responsibility for our attitude, actions and future, understanding that these things are a direct result of our choice.


Clear Values – Are your values well defined and are they important to you and your team? 

All great leaders and all great teams have defined clear values which mean we know what is really important. Together we have chosen what we wanted as our foundation. There is no gap between what we say and we do. Our values act as a guideline and we “walk the talk”.


Vision – Do you have a clear vision where to go and what to achieve? 

Peter Drucker says, “The best way to predict the future is to create it”. Vision is a defined direction and success of the team or company. Teams with a clear vision achieve results faster and easier, in contrast, teams without clear vision struggle to define priorities. They don’t feel a sense of passion or a sense of purpose.


Trust – Are you open for conflict and are you vulnerable? 

Henry Ford says: Coming together is the beginning; staying together is the challenge”. Building trust is a planned process, requiring deliberate actions. When we reach this level of trust, we are “on mission”. Trust and openness lead to healthy conflict. The kind of trust that a high performance team needs to develop in order to reach peak performance takes time to develop but is absolutely key.


Healthy conflict – Do you have healthy disagreements? 

Conflict avoidance prevents highly effective decision-making. High performance teams view disagreements as healthy instead of a challenge to authority. Teams that focus on the critical topic, will discover new ways of thinking, of growth and of innovation. Healthy conflicts facilitate full involvement and commitment.


Involvement and commitment – Are you and your team fully involved & committed? 

As a team with trust, we have worked together on our values and vision and feel ownership and commitment. We can openly disagree and participate. This allows us to full involvement and full commitment. The bottom line is summarized in the sentence “No involvement – no commitment.”


Being on Mission – Are you and your team on mission? No exception! 

The habit of being on mission is the fundamental core to success. It is the habit of doing the high-leverage activities and paying the price for success. Our ability to focus makes us effective because we stay on course. This habit of team discipline, this means we get the right things done. We execute.


Being accountable – Are you and your team fully accountable for what you do? 

Great teams have trust, involvement, vision and an on-mission attitude can then hold each other accountable. This is the most powerful habit of the team sports.


Being result focused – Are you result focused and driven every single day? 

We place little importance on titles and status. We openly share the best practices to help each other. We are result focused and team focused, and as a team, we know where we are going.

You can easy rate first yourself and then your team on a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being very poor and 10 being very good for every of the 9 habits. If you achieve a total of 81-90 you are outstanding, 65-80 good, 41- 64 Fair and < 40 Poor.

This is a process that happens over time (not an easy one), requiring the commitment of ALL team members (starting with you as a leader) to work together on an ongoing base for the best outcomes and results. But you as a leader will have to form the team and glue the team and habits together to the very best. This can become a Competitive Advantage where you can beat everyone in your industry; it’s rarely about the machines and buildings, it’s mainly about you and your team which drives your company and business to success.

It is also a great feeling to form a High Performance Team, where everyone knows what to do and would do everything to stick together and become exceptionally successful.

A High Performance Teams will get Results!

Any thoughts to share about your turnaround experience?


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