5 Steps to Building a High Performing Team

Many leaders struggle with knowing when to form a team and how to do it the right way. In my last post I discussed the importance of timing and assessing your current reality before starting the process of building your team.

Today, I want to share with you the five steps to take BEFORE you hire or promote anyone onto your team. Whether you are building a personal production team or a leadership team for your business, follow these five steps and lay the foundation for a high performing team.

  1. Write Your Team Vision - Before forming a team you must clearly define your team vision - where you want your team to take your business. Many leaders skip this step and quickly form a team to help with the demands of their current reality. It is crucial to take time to look 5-10-15 years into the future and describe how your life, your business, and your customers will be positively influenced by the work of your team. People naturally want to belong to something bigger than themselves and become something that they can take pride in while influencing the world. To this end, we have designed a unique vision casting tool to help you chart the course for your team vision (See resources at bottom of post).
  2. Create Your Team Structure - Once you have written your vision, the next step is to create a team structure that will support your vision and your goals. Try not to think of existing positions and people already working for you or those that have expressed an interest in working with you. Instead, focus on the roles and the structure that will support your vision and allow increased margin in your life. What "hats" do you wear right now that with an ideal team you could hand over to someone else?
  3. Clarify Team Member Roles - With your team structure outlined and the key positions identified, it is now time to bring clarity to each role. For each team role you must have a clearly defined job description that answers three important questions:  1. What should the person filling this position accomplish that is unique to their role.  2. How will you measure success to know this position has been successful?  3. What specific behaviors should a person in this position be able to demonstrate to fulfill the purpose of their role and achieve the success? The "Think Through First” model is the perfect guide to help you with this step (See resources at bottom of post).
  4. Outline Team Systems  - If there is one area where I see teams struggle most, it is in the area of operational systems. High performing teams have internal systems and procedures in place that allow them to execute with excellence and provide a Wow Experience - both internally and externally. For example, start by thinking through all of the steps it takes to deliver your product or service to your client. Take each step individually and match it to the Team Roles that have responsibilities in that step. Ask yourself, is this streamlined? Are there too many people involved in this step? How could the team be more efficient and still operate with excellence? Create a service/product delivery timeline that outlines each step, each team member role, and how "handoffs" will occur between team members that ensure that the client is being served and operational excellence is achieved. As the team leader, make certain that you are focused on your high-payoff activities while allowing your team members to handle those aspects of the timeline that do not absolutely require your involvement.
  5. Select and Recruit Team Members - Armed with your vision, structure, roles, and systems you are now ready to select and recruit the right people to join your team. I highly recommend sharing your vision along with each of these elements when recruiting team members. You never want to hear the words, "Oh, gosh, this job is not what I expected … I'm leaving!" Once you have identified a potential team member, I also highly recommend using the DISC behavioral assessment to ensure that there is match between the expectations and needs of the role and the natural behaviors and talents of the candidate. Remember, bad hiring decisions become a cancer to your culture and recovery is very difficult and expensive.

If you have built a team in the past, what steps did you take and were you successful?


Make it a great day!

Coach Dan