What have you done for me lately? These days it is not enough to perform well once in a while. There is a difference between high-performance and consistent high-performance. Upper Management has an increasingly insatiable appetite for more, more, more! More projects, more deadlines, more systems, more profits. Let’s face it, you may be only as good as your last successful project.
If consistent high-performance is necessary for career success, why is it so elusive? After all, progressive leaders are often times metrics driven. They know how to measure performance. Many work hard not to simply measure, but alsoto drive performance. Performance management systems are used, and today’s leaders are adept at employing modern concepts such as “Servant Leadership,” and mission driven,“Leaders Eat Last” mantras. So the question remains, “How do I get my team to perform well, more often?”
The reason management systems and modern leadership concepts don’t often equate to consistent high-performance is because systems are run by people. And people are generally inconsistent. If you want consistent high-performance add these ingredients and you will achieve it:
- Complimentary Skills – Do you have the right talent on your team? Are the individuals complimentary and do you have all of your bases covered? You can start with a team assessment and examine how your team dynamics line up. Tools such as DISC, Myers Briggs, and others can help you understand behaviors and styles. Look long-term and ask yourself if you can reach your goals with the team and structure you have in place. If not, make some changes!
- Common Purpose – Are you all striving to achieve the same thing? If your team members have different ideas about what your purpose is, or if they are unclear on your definition of success, you are in trouble. We are not talking about short-term goals here. This ingredient includes mission and core values. Find a purpose that is greater than any one individual and go for it. Define your core values and build your team around them.
- Collaboration & Innovation – Does your team willingly work together? Are they pro-active communicators that creatively find ways to get things done? If not, it is your job as the leader to drive communication. Insist on collaboration and provide quiet time that allows for creativity and innovation. If an individual, or group of people, are inhibitors to this process make the necessary changes!
- Group Leadership – Is your team vested in the performance of one leader, or is leadership taken on by various team members? In the end, consistent high-performance is about a relentless pursuit of excellence by all team members. If holding team members accountable to excellence is one man or woman’s job, the team is destined to fail. If people are on their best behavior only when the leader is watching, yet allow poor performance when no-one is watching, you will never be great.
That’s right, this concept comes down to the quality and continuity of your team and the bottom-up commitment from all team members to do what is excellent at all times…No matter who is watching. And the only way to do that is to expect and require that all team members step-up and act like leaders. Great teams hold one-another accountable.
It is not enough for the leader to expect and demand excellence. It is the job of the team! Like suave that when applied removes a splinter, the team identifies lack of excellence, surrounds it and extricates it!
Once your team is striving for excellence on a daily basis, at all levels, you can expect consistent high-performance.