I was a "team guy" on several occasions. High-performing? Not so much.

Updated: Feb 10

The concept of teams conveys different things to different people.This becomes even more convoluted when discussing high-performance teams, mostly, because organizations tend to throw the label around indiscriminately.

Newsflash. Just because a team is effective doesn't make it high-performing. 

Effectiveness is about behaviors. High-performance is about both effective behaviors and processes in place.

Want your teams to be high-performing? Then they will need to develop and sustain the appropriate behaviors and processes to do so!

Teams become high-performance teams through disciplined action. They are hyper-focused on a mission, goal, or objective. They work interdependently and collaboratively on a common set of demanding performance measures to deliver. They define a common working approach. They develop high levels of complementary talents and competencies. They hold themselves mutually accountable.

Rinse. Repeat.

Here, at Southern Cross, we call these crews. And the environment they create is called crew-munity.

In crews, the role of leader is less important and difficult to identify. At one time or another, all members lead the crew as needed. 

Additionally, crews demonstrate a high degree of commitment to one another. When one bears the proverbial monkey on their back, they all do.

Throughout my career, I have been on a number of truly amazing teams with truly amazing people.

I count three of them as high-performing. One of those three teams had just three members, including me. 

The standards for high-performance teams are just that - high.

It does not mean that my previous teams were not effective. They were remarkably effective, but effective does not equal high-performing.

They also had many high-performing individuals, but high-performing individuals do not make for high-performing teams.

High-performing teams are in a class of their own.

Getting there is aspirational much like most things that take tremendous discretionary effort. But it is not impossible and more than worth it to try. It's not always about the destination.

More often, it's about the journey.

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