High-performance teams

BUSINESS MATTERS (BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE) - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - June 12, 2021 - 12:00am

I recently attended the three-day virtual master class of Marcus Buckingham presented by WOBI (World of Business Ideas, NYC). I have conversed with him, and as charming as he is in person, he is also on-screen. Perhaps his British accent helps. Buckingham offers fresh insights on how to build high-performance teams. He does this by presenting a counter perspective on popular business practices and beliefs. Here is the summary:

1. People care which company they work for.

People care more about the team they are on as opposed to the company they work for. How long individuals stay with an organization depends massively on the team they are on. The following questions capture the feelings created within high-performing teams.

1. At work, I clearly understand what is expected of me.

2. I am enthusiastic about my company.

3. I have a chance to use my strengths at work every day.

4. In my team, I am surrounded by people who share my values.

5. I know I’ll be recognized for excellent work.

6. My teammates have my back.

7. In my work, I am constantly challenged to grow.

8. I have great confidence in my company’s future leaders need to integrate the “we” and the “me.”

2. The best plan wins.

The better the plan, the worse it works. The best plan takes more time to build, and although having the best-detailed plan is a good thing, time itself will quickly render and make your plan obsolete. Instead of aiming for the best plan, as a team leader, you need to continuously plan and think about what your organization can do in the short and long run while equipping team members with intelligence systems to enhance the planning process.

3. The best companies cascade goals.

Goals do not work, and they are not good at keeping people aligned. Goals work for us when they’re manifestations of what we value. The best companies and teams do not cascade goals; they cascade meaning. Build a team that feels valued and set goals based on those values. If done well, the goals teams set for themselves will reflect the meaning. There are five ways to bring meaning into teams:

1. Expressed values

2. Language

3. Stories

4. Heroes

5. Rituals

4. The best team members are well rounded.

On the best teams, employees feel their managers know them for their uniqueness and know how to use their identity. The best team leaders know their team is well rounded, precisely because each individual on the team is not.

5. People need feedback.

People need attention more than feedback. Leaders need to see their employees for who they are and what they do best, not for who they are not or what they cannot do to drive performance and achieve excellence. Your way of doing things as a leader is utterly different from that of your teams and employees. The way you react to their work is far more legitimate than feedback.

6. People can reliably rate other people.

People do not rate people reliably. Leaders should ask themselves the following four questions at least four times a year:

1. I always turn to this person when I need extraordinary results.

2. I choose to work with this person as much as I can.

3. This person should be promoted today.

4. This person has a performance problem I need to address today.

7. People have potential.

There is no substance called “potential” where people have more or less of it. The best leaders think about their teams as having momentum through their innate qualities and their willingness to take on roles they desire. They give greater weight to their inherent strengths than they do over their acquired performance and skills.

8. Work-Life balance matters most.

The best team leaders do not encourage their teams to have a work-life balance. Instead, they encourage them to strive for healthy motion. We should move ahead in life in a way that enables us to keep moving. Leaders should help their teams find love in what they do.

9. Leadership is a thing.

The best leaders share only one thing; they all have followers. Leaders somehow get people to follow them into the future in their unique way. To be the best team leader for your people, you need to derive strength from what you do. So goes the team leader, so goes the team.

Attending WOBI events has proven to be very beneficial. I cannot wait to attend the next one, apply and share the learnings.



(Francis Kong’s highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership Master Class online will run from June 22 to 24. Develop your leadership skills that translate into personal, career, and business growth. For inquiries and reservations, contact April at +63928-559-1798 and for more information, visit www.levelupleadership.ph)

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with