Defined by The Performance Matrix, a high-performance team is “an interdependent, stable, role-defined group of individuals who share responsibility, mutual trust and values, while having strong leadership, and a clear focus on a common goal.”
In my new book, The Top 1% Life, I detail how to go from surviving to thriving. You need the secrets of high-performing, collaborative teams. The secrets lie in five factors that are essential for leaders to create autonomous and accountable team members:
ETMAG: Environment, training, mindset, accountability and genius.
These are what strong performance cultures are made of. Add in the core of passion, purpose and power, and now you have the heart and soul of a performance culture. Let’s break these five main areas down.
Your team environment is like the air you breathe. You often do not think about breathing at all throughout our day. You fail to notice when your chest constricts or when you relax by breathing deeper into your stomach or when your breath becomes shallow. Top performers meditate to bring breath into their conscious awareness. We can manage our states by consciously altering our breath and we are able to connect with others by moving closer to their breathing patterns as well.
Our breath sets a pace. That pace impacts our thinking, actions and eventually, results. What others achieve in your environment becomes normal. This accounts for ultra-performance and sub-par performance. We match the best of our ability in proximity to the average of our environment, not compared to our stand-alone capability to perform.
One of the biggest indicators of a person’s ability to learn and set new habits is that person’s personal belief that he or she can change. Let the system dictate the expectations to stay on track or to get back on track.
This is not personal. McDonald’s requires three pickles on every burger. If you get hired but keep putting two pickles on each burger, someone is going to talk to you and eventually, you will get a written warning and be let go. You can argue the reasoning of two pickle slices forever. You can cry about your bad day and overwhelming commitments. But at the end of the day, the system says three pickle slices. Three is the recipe for success.
We all have a set point for how we see ourselves and how we see the world. Change requires a belief that you are capable of changing and that your changes will build a brighter future for yourself. Another way to look at this is through the lens of growth-or-fixed mindset and leadership-or-victim mentality. The warrior gives his all because that is who the warrior is. The warrior believes his actions define him and showing up and doing his best to reach his goals defines him. The warrior knows he was built to change, grow, evolve and ultimately learn and win.
A growth mindset means an individual believes their ability to practise, try and learn will dictate outcomes; whereas in a fixed mindset, team members only want to do what they feel they are already good at. The fear and discomfort of trying something new and not thriving are overwhelming for someone with a fixed mindset. A growth mindset person enjoys learning and challenges. They are great “learners,” whereas fixed mindset people take pride in natural talents.
Accountability includes a willingness to view your capabilities, celebrate your strengths, and leverage the genius of others to improve your own skill set in your role. With a team, you are doing a fraction of a full sales role per salesperson. Even sales members do a highly modified version of the typical sales role. This means that you need to ensure you have results. You are taking on lower-cost activities and/or tasks that require more energy and time for salespeople to complete and moving those to others. You are paying for others to do those tasks that are undesirable to a sales agent.
High-performing salespeople want to live in the fast lane doing what they do best. The more you take the tasks a salesperson sees as tedious and time-consuming off the salesperson’s plate, the more deals the salesperson will do and the happier the salesperson will be. Everyone has better results, including the client who gets the most valuable aspects of the sales agent to support them. This all means you need to provide a world-class experience for clients so you can get results and have the income to pay others to live in their genius, which will free you to live in yours.
Living in your genius is where the money, energy and time live. Living in your genius allows you to bring your gifts to the world while nurturing your gifts in your everyday work. The genius model is ever-evolving to eventually carve down to a business for yourself and your team, where you do the highest portions of your work in an area that energizes you, fulfills you and brings the best of your work to the world.
You have the most prosperity in your area of genius because it is worth the most to your teams and clients. Allow your team members the privilege of moving more and more into their genius as they evolve with their capabilities and results. Create a system to transparently identify when additional leverage is available to allow for greater production at a higher calibre and in less time.
A top-producing, top one-per-cent team achieves the outcome that matches their mindset, environment, training, accountability and genius. The result mirrors them. The only thing we are then chasing is the future version of ourselves.
Feeling the flow of a high-performance team, doing what they do best, working in their level of genius, aligned toward a common outcome, carving their path by the values they believe in and nurturing together is the ultimate experience. It is worth course-correcting back to, and it is worth building into existence. This type of movement attracts like-minded people and creates an unstoppable vortex for as long as it stays intact.