Heading a corporation is similar to conducting an orchestra. CEOs have to see the big picture, orchestrate team strengths and weaknesses, and ensure all pieces are in place to facilitate production. Where high-performing teams are concerned, it’s easy to be sidetracked by misconceptions. Here are four secrets to creating a high-performance team.
- Who’s Got the Lead Sheets?
It’s not enough to be a man or woman with a vision. How well that vision is communicate makes the difference. Poorly delineated responsibilities make for a weak foundation. Just as each member of an orchestra is following a specific lead sheet (the music sheet), each team, and member thereof, needs clearly defined roles. There is nothing like mission-creep to cause confusion. Ensure that everybody knows what is expected and that everybody stays in their well-defined lanes.
- Let the Band Members Choose their Own Instruments
Avoid the common misconception that the entire team has to be focused on each aspect of a project. None of an orchestra’s instrument sections are performing throughout the entire performance. Some rest while others play. Sometimes they all play together. If they all played all the time, the performance would sound chaotic instead of symphonic.
Sometimes, the strengths of individual members should be focused on various aspects of the project. The power of an effective team is diversity of strengths, skills, aptitudes, and abilities. Allow the team some autonomy as to how to approach the task.
As long as the project meets deadline, the manner in which it is accomplished should not be micromanaged. Team members who are allowed to play to their strengths are more likely to experience satisfaction and find more meaning in their contribution.
- Get Out of the Audience and Start Conducting
A maestro’s primary focus is conducting the orchestra. They conduct the performance and bring unity to the individual players. They are responsible for setting the tempo, and they listen very critically to the orchestration as they facilitate interpretation of the musical piece.
CEOs act as maestros over team performance. They are always proactive and eyeing the big picture to run interference on behalf of the team. They ensure the right conditions for the team’s optimal performance without micromanaging or otherwise slowing production.
- She Plays that Bass with Skill; But . . .
Everybody who looks good on paper is not a good fit. There are people who are technically perfect in playing an instrument. But, the interpretation misses something in translation. An audience is moved by the heart behind the performance. It makes the difference between a mere performance and an experience.
Don’t be blinded by a skill set unless it is backed up with soft skills. Go beyond the paper to see a person’s ability to connect with the team. Collaboration is powered by influence. Anything less is a mere technical performance.
Team synergy and composition are necessary to orchestrating a high-performance team. Sustainable outcomes are important to any organization This is a highly disruptive environment in which customer preferences and needs evolve. Direction can change on a dime and it’s best to have a Dream-Team that to stay ahead of change.
Linda F. Williams, MSW is an Executive Coach I Consultant, trained psychotherapist, nationally recognized behaviorist, Executive Coach, and Cultural Transformation Consultant. As founder of Whose Apple Dynamic Coaching & Consulting, she is the Award-Winning author of the Best-Seller, Whose Apple is it, Anyway!