7 essentials business owners use to build high performance in their teams

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Recently I had the privilege of spending two days with six business owners from diverse industry sectors who all own and lead businesses. We explored a range of topics, one of which was what do they as leaders do to facilitate high performance in their teams?

For these leaders there are “givens, such as trust being a necessity as it underpins everything their respective teams do. Teams have a clear and common goal or brief that is understood and shared by all team members. Beyond these essentials this what they shared they do as leaders to build high performance.

From their perspective these are their 7 essentials:

  • Listen. It is more important to listen than to feel they are the one to lead the discussion. The challenge is that a subject or issue may have been raised before at different times. Rather than assume they know what the team member is going to say, they say it is important to listen as if they, as leaders, are hearing what is being said for the first time.
  • Question. Before the team begins on the task at hand don’t be afraid to question to ensure everyone is clear on the scope of what has to be done. They believe this is important as having to stop to clarify and correct once work is underway can be costly and time consuming.
  • At the beginning take time to plan. It gives the team two opportunities; the first is it provides the confidence to ensure the team has the required resources (people, time, money and materials) and to use those resources where they have the most impact and effectiveness. The second is to bring to the surface what are facts and what is opinion and assumption. The latter is important as assumptions need to be tested as they may be incorrect.
  • Always value the diversity that teams bring. The make-up of every team is different; value and embrace these differences: personality and style, knowledge, skill and experience, background, gender. From their perspective sameness in teams limits high performance.
  • Communicate. While they felt this is a statement of the obvious, these leaders said the essential elements are being open and honest and ensuring information is complete, consistent across the life of the project, timely, and easily processed.
  • Encourage change. Very simply all ideas are valid until fully evaluated.
  • Who is best to lead? Their view is that because they lead the business does not automatically mean they should lead the team in a particular piece of work as there may be others in the team who are better suited and qualified. They said stepping back and letting others lead is empowering – for the team member and for them.

Facilitating high performance in teams in any organisation builds performance impact and effectiveness. We are happy to meet with you to discuss how to develop these essential skills for your leaders.


Vivente Australiaenables leaders and managers develop the bond between people and performance, creating a powerful advantage: the synergy between people, leadership, management, and culture, produces performance that allows your business to achieve its best.

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