The Key Ingredients Necessary to Build a High Performing Team

As I write this blog, we are gearing up for Super Bowl 52 to watch the New England Patriots take on the Philadelphia Eagles. This is the unprecedented 8th time that New England will be playing in the Super Bowl since Bill Belichick started coaching the team in 2000.

What can a business leader learn from Bill Belichick?  Building a high performing team is hard work.  There are lots of moving parts.  However, check the three items below to see if your team is poised to perform like the New England Patriots.

Clarity

High performing teams are focused on what victory looks like.  New England is not always dominate.  In fact, they rarely dominate their competition.  Their largest Super Bowl margin of victory in the Belichick era was last year’s come from behind victory, in overtime, when they won by only 6 points.

In football, you win if you have more points at the end of the game than your opponent.  It doesn’t matter whether you score 3 points or 49 points as long as you score more than your opponent during the 60 minutes of playing time.

Give yourself an honest assessment.  How clear is your team on exactly what needs to be done to claim victory?  Is it a revenue goal, a gross margin goal, number of new clients or something completely different? Can each player clearly articulate what it will take to win this year?

Alignment

A player either buys into Bill Belichick’s system or he replaces the player with someone who will.  Many leaders allow fear to keep them from making the difficult personnel decisions that need to be made.  This is especially true when dealing with a high performing employee who isn’t a good fit for the team.

You can’t focus on what the performer is individually producing, ignoring what the person is costing the team.  You get what you tolerate.  And if you tolerate a team member who does not follow your processes, or your values, you can bet that other team members are watching.  You can bet their resolve is weakened.

Ask these four questions about each member of your team:

  1. Would I enthusiastically hire this person again?
  2. Is this person 100% bought in to our strategy and our values?
  3. Does this person lead themselves?
  4. Does this person consistently wow me and other members of the team with their insights and execution?

Execution

Bill Belichick’s mantra is “do your job”.  Simple, yet extremely effective.  In business, as well as sports, individuals are the most resourceful when they are doing tasks they can control.  They become anxious and lose power when focusing on things that are out of their control.

Belichick, his staff, and the team as a whole have done a great job focusing each individual player on exactly how to be disciplined, execute their job, and stay focused. This is why the Patriots are so successful at executing comebacks and winning tight games.

Questions to consider:

  • Do your team members know the daily disciplines that lead to success in their individual roles?
  • Can each team member self-diagnose their performance and tell you if they had a good week or a bad week?

Will all of this be enough to help the Patriots win their 6th super bowl in the last 18 years?  I don’t know, but I am certainly going to enjoy watching history in the making.

Learn more about building high performing teams at our upcoming webinar scheduled for February 28th from 11:30am to 12:30pm CST.

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