Blog, Leadership Insights, Team Building

Developing a High Performance Team

March 19, 2017 | Rick VanDermyden

I have a few thoughts to share with you on developing a high performance team.

Now, you’ve either been on a team, have led one, or have created one, and you’ll have some thoughts on this as well. I want to give you some perspective on what I’ve learned through my own experience, as well as what I’ve learned  as I’ve helped leaders and team members create really great teams.

One company that I work with, have what they call a missing persons report. Before they go out and post job positions, they do a report saying here’s the person that we’re missing in our organization.

We’ve grown to accept what we have and now we need a specific skill set, and so this is the missing person. In this missing person report they go through and they talk about what skill sets they need, that’s an important thing.  They, however, also focus on what are some of the intangibles that this new person can to the table?  These are things they may bring from their past experience, their passions, or their values.  After they address the skill sets needed and the values of the organization and how someone will fit into the organization, they have a clear missing person report before moving forward. I love what my mentor John Maxwell says, he says, “If you don’t know what you’re looking for, how will you know when you find it?” So, make sure that you go out and as you start to create a team, start with a missing person report, this is the person I need on the team, not just what they will do, but on the intangibles that they bring to the table.

I work with a great association in California and their HR director told me “We generally hire people for what they do, and we have to fire people for who they are.” She told me this so many years ago and it really resonated with me because that’s exactly what I’ve done so often: hired them for their skill set, and yet they weren’t a match culturally. They’re good people; they just weren’t a match for my organization. So that’s the next piece; are we really clear on what it takes to fit in to this team? I have the skill sets, I have some values that match, but does it gel with this team? So as we’re creating a team, are we clear on what a team member looks like integrating into this team. Start a missing person report, assess the current team, and then really see what this team member can do to multiply the production of the team. In other words, I like bringing in multipliers. And if we think I can just bring somebody who just brings in what they can do on their own, that’s a nice level. But what happens when you bring in somebody who makes the entire team around them better?

We see that in sports all the time. We see players that come in that can be dominant on their own, and yet because of how they’re wired, they make everybody on the team better. And that’s what leads to championship teams.

Make sure you’re clear on your plan, make sure you only settle for those people that are a good match for organization, and then go out and dominate in your particular field.

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