What is high performance leadership?
High performance leadership is a leadership style that is characterized by a focus on achieving exceptional results through effective team building, strategic planning, and strong communication skills. It is a type of leadership that inspires and motivates individuals and teams to work towards common goals and achieve excellence.
High performance leadership is not just about managing a team or getting tasks done. It’s about inspiring people to work together towards a common shared purpose. To create and achieve a high performance team, it’s important to create a common shared purpose for the team that is aligned with the overall organization’s vision and strategy. This common shared purpose should be specific enough that each team member knows how their team contributes to the organization’s vision and their explicit role within the team. When teams understand their purpose and see how their contributions are important, they are more motivated and engaged, resulting in better outcomes and overall success for the organization.
The three high performance leadership essentials for high performance teams
Why is a common shared purpose important?
A common shared purpose is crucial for any high performance team, as it helps align everyone toward the same goal. A team without a common shared purpose is like a ship without a destination. It may have a crew, but without a clear direction, it will drift aimlessly. When everyone understands the purpose and direction of the team, they can work together more efficiently and effectively. A common shared purpose brings the team together, and each member feels part of something bigger than themselves.
“Feels part of something bigger than themselves”
A common shared purpose creates a sense of belonging and commitment to the team. When people feel like they are part of a team working towards a common shared purpose and goal, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work. It also helps team members see how their contributions are valuable, and this leads to a greater sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in their work. When individuals see how their work contributes to the greater good, they are more motivated to do their best.
Creating a common shared purpose aligned with the organization’s vision
A common shared purpose must be aligned with the organization’s vision and strategy. The vision is the long-term goal or destination that the organization aims to achieve, while the strategy outlines the approach and actions required to reach that goal. The common shared purpose of the team must fit into this broader vision and strategy, and each team member should understand how their team’s work contributes to achieving this vision.
A common shared purpose should also be specific and measurable. Vague goals such as “improve customer satisfaction” or “increase revenue” are not enough. Instead, the team’s common shared purpose should be more specific, such as “reduce customer complaints by 50%” or “increase revenue by 10% in the next quarter”. Specific goals give the team a clear target to aim for, and it’s easier to measure progress and success.
When creating a common shared purpose, involving the team in the process is important. By involving team members, you can gain their input and feedback, and this creates a greater sense of ownership and commitment to the purpose. When people feel like they have contributed to creating a common shared purpose, they are more likely to be invested in it and work towards achieving it.
How a common shared purpose leads to success and accountability
A common shared purpose provides focus and direction for a high performance team. When everyone knows what they are working towards, it’s easier to prioritize tasks and make decisions that align with the purpose. This helps the team avoid distractions and focus on the important work contributing to the organization’s vision and strategy.
In high performance teams, a common shared purpose creates a sense of accountability. When everyone understands the purpose and their role in achieving it, they are more likely to take ownership of their work and be accountable for their actions. This creates a culture of responsibility and accountability, where everyone is committed to doing their best to achieve the common shared purpose.
A common shared purpose also promotes collaboration and teamwork. When everyone understands their role and how it contributes to the greater goal, there will be more collaboration to achieve success. This creates a culture of teamwork and cooperation, where everyone is working towards the same goal rather than focusing solely on their individual tasks.
How a common shared purpose creates proven competency
A common shared purpose is a powerful driver of proven competency among team members. When everyone on the team is aligned around a common shared purpose, they understand what competencies are necessary to accomplish that goal. This shared understanding and proven competency with each other create a sense of accountability and responsibility among team members, motivating them to develop and improve the skills required to achieve their objectives.
Collaboration is essential in ensuring the team has the proven competencies to become a high performance team. Cross-training is an effective way to develop and improve the proven competencies of team members. When team members work together to share knowledge and skills, they learn from each other's experiences and become more capable of working towards a common shared purpose. Additionally, cross-training helps to build trust among team members, which is essential for effective collaboration. By sharing expertise and supporting each other, team members can work together more efficiently and effectively, creating a positive feedback loop that leads to higher performance and greater success. Ultimately, a common shared purpose and a collaborative approach to building proven competencies are critical components of a high performance team.
A common shared purpose helps create a positive work culture when people feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves.
Formula One example of common shared purpose, proven competency, and accountability
An example of high performance leadership and the resulting high performance team that we often reference in our leadership development programs is that of a Formula One racing team. In Formula One racing, every member of the team plays a vital role in achieving the ultimate goal of winning the race or achieving a points goal for the season. One of the most critical teams is the pit crew, who provide the necessary services to the car during pit stops in the fastest time possible.
The pit crew's common shared purpose is to work together seamlessly and efficiently to service the car and get it back on the track as quickly as possible. The pit crew comprises several highly skilled individuals, each with a specific role to play. Some team members are responsible for changing the tires, while others refuel the car, and some adjust the aerodynamics of the car.
In a race where every second counts, the pit crew's ability to provide fast and efficient services is crucial. The time spent in the pits can make the difference between winning and losing the race. As a result, the pit crew must have the proven competency to work with precision and focus on ensuring that the car is serviced correctly and efficiently.
The pit crew's contribution to the team's vision of winning the race cannot be overstated. By providing the necessary services in the shortest time possible, they help minimize the time the car spends in the pits, allowing the driver to get back on the track quickly and maintain a competitive position.
The pit crew's efforts and accountability to each other and the greater team also help improve the driver's confidence and motivation, knowing they have a reliable and efficient team behind them. This can be critical in a race where the slightest mistake can result in a significant setback.
The pit crew plays a vital role in Formula One racing, and their common shared purpose is to provide the necessary services to the car in the fastest time possible. Achieving the overall team’s goal of winning the race or finishing the season with a targeted number of points isn’t entirely within their control or responsibility. However, by clearly understanding their common shared purpose, demonstrating proven competency, and having high accountability to each other and the entire racing team, they are able to expertly do their part in performing the most effective and efficient pit stops that will certainly make a difference in achieving the overall team’s goals.
High performance leadership steps for High performance teams
1. Define a clear mission: In high performance leadership requires leaders to establish a clear and concise mission statement that outlines the team's common shared purpose and objectives. This statement should be communicated effectively to every member of the team and serve as a guiding principle for all decisions and actions.
2. Foster a sense of accountability: In high performance leadership, leaders should encourage team members to take ownership of their roles and responsibilities and to be accountable to each other. They should empower them to make decisions and take actions that align with the team’s mission and common shared purpose.
3. Build a culture of collaboration: In high performance leadership, leaders should foster a culture of collaboration and teamwork. They should encourage open communication, trust, and respect among team members and create a safe no blame environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions and learning from mistakes.
4. Provide opportunities for growth: In high performance leadership, leaders should provide opportunities for team members to learn and grow. This can be achieved through training programs, mentoring, or coaching. By investing in their development, leaders show that they value their team members and are committed to their success.
5. Celebrate success: In high performance leadership, leaders should recognize and celebrate team successes. This can be done through public or private recognition, rewards, or incentives. Celebrating success reinforces the importance of the common shared purpose and motivates team members to continue working towards the organization's objectives.
6. Lead by example: High performance leaders must lead by example. They need to consistently demonstrate the behaviours and actions that they expect from their team members. By modelling the values and principles of the organization, leaders can create a culture that reinforces the shared common purpose and inspires everyone to work towards achieving it.
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