High-performance teams are more efficient, productive, and innovative. No kidding, right?! And the single most determining factor in how well teams perform is in the effectiveness of their leaders. A recent Harvard Business Review article highlighted a Korn Ferry survey of 7,500 global leaders who identified accelerating innovation as a top business priority, yet only 17 percent of those surveyed were confident that their organizations have the right leadership to deliver on strategic business plans.

Why is there such a discrepancy – and what does it mean for your organization? It means taking action. Here are some straight-forward plays you could begin implementing today:

6 High-Performing Team Plays<

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Demand input from the entire organization

Make sure everyone has a voice in suggested changes. Use online, anonymous surveys and formal input through meetings and non-anonymous surveys. Don’t allow the same few voices to dominate the discussion.

Establish the “why” of your organization

Don’t stop with a mission and a strategy; develop the “why” that drives your organization. Most employees will work more actively together for a common good than just for a job – think Simon Sinek and Start with Why, or watch his TedTalk!

Achieve buy-in

Make your vision and business strategy visible everywhere your people turn, and be relentless in your efforts to cultivate teams that believe in the company’s goals as strongly as you do. We aren’t just talking about nice posters on the wall…

This is about having the vision and strategy that have been systematically communicated through a variety of channels become living and breathing parts of your organization.

Build overall development around core business strategies

Give employees the power to be more than just task completer. Give them the chance to be strategists; teach them to be collaborators – and mean it. 

Collective collaboration<

Teams are only as strong as their most silent members. Insist on participation from everyone, and create an environment where everyone feels welcome to contribute. Don’t back off of this, and set the example by asking for everyone’s opinion in meetings. 

Respected risk<

Many of the best ideas within organizations lie within the minds of those who are not empowered to voice them. Remove barriers and allow your teams to speak up. 

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The quality of your team’s performance is a direct reflection of the quality of your leadership development, because strong teams come from strong team leadership. Commit to strengthening and broadening team performance within your organization. As we move further and further away from hierarchical leadership, developing leaders who create engaged, enabled, and empowered teams is essential.


As the CEO & Founder of East Tenth Group, Michelle leverages 25 years of business and experience as a strategic advisor and executive coach to help drive actionable people solutions and provide practical insights on business strategy to senior leaders. she and her team and are fiercely committed to the development and growth of people and companies because we believe that when people thrive, business thrives.

Learn More About Michelle