How Do Lead Your First High Performing Team?

How do you lead a high performing team?How do you lead a high performing team?

You just got your next big promotion. Congrats, now what do you do to make sure you get the best results from your new team members? Don’t worry we’re here to help you keep your career growing and moving forward. Today, I share several keys to leading a high performing team. Tomorrow, Kaylene Mathews shares how to get a better understanding of the different people on your team.

The first step in building a high performing team is to make sure you have clarity on what results you hope to achieve. As you take over responsibility for your new team, make sure you know what is expected from your efforts. The start of great teamwork comes from a foundation of having a clear mission, vision, and values for your team. This clarity helps you get the most from all the people you’re working with. This first step helps you build your high performing team.

The second step in building a high performing team is to begin connecting with your team members. In the past, your boss may have called a team meeting to introduce you to the other team members. Today, there is a good chance that your team is located all over the world and you need technology to engage your other team members.  It is critical to connect personally with all of the team members so they are clear on what you are doing and how to best work with each other.  Many first time team leaders overlook this key aspect in building their high performing team.

Before you do this step, remember what it was like for you when you got a call to welcome you on the team. After your initial conversation, did you feel more engaged with what was happening on your team? As a strong leader, it is critical to connect with others to help you better understand how to work with the many different personalities it takes to build a high performing team. Don’t worry, tomorrow‘s blog help, you with this critical management capability!

The third step in building a high performing team is to understand your project will succeed or fail based on your ability to collaborate more effectively. The good news for you is that because of your clarity and you reaching out, other team members want to work with you. Your reputation of getting the most out of yourself and others excites the younger team members. They are looking for team leaders who not only get results, but also help them become more valuable.  When you help your team members do both you will have no problem attracting, building, and retaining your high performing team.

You may need to spend time with several of your senior team members because you all competed for the role, and you ended up getting it. Take time to make these senior members feel welcome and they will multiply your effectiveness. By being willing to share the wins with others, you continue gaining good will from even the most hardened critic. Helping others celebrate their victory insures that you can count on them when deadlines become tight.

Finally, you can have all the great management tools in the world, but to do a great job delivering your new products requires an additional strength. I didn’t learn about it in schools but under the pressure of taking a company through an IPO (Initial Public Offering). I advocated the company moving to market more slowly, rather than being the first mover in our new growing market. The company leaders thought I was wrong and our company lost significant funding because of our being an early mover. Today, I’m sure I could have convinced our high performing team to wait. Having courage doesn’t mean you always win, but it does mean you’ve left nothing behind when you decide what needs to be done next.

Good team leaders must have courage. They most know themselves and their team members so they can accurately predict what is going to happen next. Because they make it happen. These team leaders must be willing to take the heat for their team if they feel that everyone’s working hard to make a larger contribution. It can take courage to tell your bosses to wait when inertia is going against them. This courage takes experience and self-trust. Many great new products never made it to market because their team leaders failed to have the courage to get the most out of their team’s efforts. Managerial courage means you are willing to make decisions and live with the consequences.

Good team leaders know their teams. They are very good at understanding how to work with a wide variety of professionals required to build a winning team.  Tomorrow, Kaylene shares a system she uses to help her clients get great results out of their different team members. See you here Thursday.

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