Increasing team performance is a common goal. There is always room for improvement and leaders are always trying to get more out of their team. Increasing performance is particularly important when leaders are new to an organization, have moved to a new department in a leadership role or have just assembled a new team for a project or initiative.
How do you set the foundation for a strong team to achieve their full potential?
There are 5 things to keep in mind:
- Create a Strong First Impression: Make sure that you start out strong. Come to the first meeting/introduction prepared to make a good first impression and establish expectations. How the team initially starts their working relationship has a huge impact on their long term interactions.
- Establish Expectations: Don’t assume people have shared expectations. Set expectations early—don’t wait until things are below your expectations and then try to rise them up. Starting high and keeping them high is easier than trying to raise expectations after they have settled in too low. Set ambitious goals together and then work hard to achieve your potential.
- Create a Sense of Importance: People perform better when they believe that what they are doing is important and will have a positive impact.
- Create a sense of Urgency: Create some urgency with specific interim delivery dates or milestones so the team has the opportunity to see the quick wins of completion of interim targets before the completion of the long term outcome.
- Deliver a Challenge: Decide to do something that isn’t easy, but requires something extra. Set goals that will challenge the team to exceed expectations and will spark a sense of pride in the team. When faced with a challenge, people are willing to step up and achieve more.
My Perspective: Successfully leading a team is a complex task. By keeping these 5 thoughts in mind you can motivate, inspire and lead your team to greater heights.