Ten Keys to Building a High-Performance Team


One thing I have learned in my life is this: winning is winning. I don’t care if it is sports or business—no one does it alone! Winning requires excellent coaching (leadership), dedicated teammates and high-performance teamwork! Teamwork is one of the most underutilized strategic competitive advantages in business today! Don’t believe me? Here is what best-selling author Patrick Lencioni says about teamwork:

“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage both because it is so powerful and it is so rare.”

“So rare…” That is the part of the statement that gets me! Business is the ultimate team sport! How could it be so rare? It all starts at the top with leadership. Leadership must demand it. It requires all of areas of the company to work together for a common purpose: creating value for our customers! How does your branch, department, division or company stack up in the teamwork area? Are you masters of cross-selling all services lines into your existing customers? Do you have a process for sharing knowledge and best practices?

In the mid-nineties, Price Pritchett highlighted 16 things required to create a high-performance team. I have narrowed it down to ten for this article.

Having been on three national championship teams in college—it is no secret---I love winning! What’s your choice? Do you want to work for an industry leader, or be a part of a mediocre outfit? Do you want to be on a championship team, or never even make the playoffs? Would you prefer to spend your days grinding away at a job where the group just never seems to click, or get a bang out of being a high powered unit that produces record breaking results?

Here are ten keys to building a high-performance team. How does your team rank in these areas?

1. Push for high-quality communication.

  • It’s the make or break issue

  • You must meet, talk and engage in very open give and take communication

  • In real estate, it’s location, location, location

  • In business, it’s communication, communication, communication

2. Bring Talent to the Team

  • It is everyone’s responsibility

  • If you find great talent and cannot use them, refer them to a teammate

  • Your team is only as good as its weakest link

  • Always be searching for top talent

3. Play Your Position

  • Understand what is expected of you

  • Invest in yourself.Be good at what you do and keep getting better

  • Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect!

  • Teamwork, by definition implies interdependence

  • Understand what you do affects others

4. Turn Diversity into the Team’s Advantage

  • You wouldn’t want an orchestra composed strictly of drummers would you?

  • Differences add depth, create strength and bring balance to a team

  • Don’t sideline the person who is different

  • Don’t use being different as a crutch

5. Back-Up Others Who Need Help

  • Think team!

  • See the big picture

  • Adopt an attitude of helpfulness—regularly share knowledge and best practices

  • Nothing is permanent, not the good times, nor the bad times

6. Be a Continuous Learner

  • Understand there is no such thing as a long term competitive advantage in terms of a product or service

  • Our only long term advantage is our people, and their ability to learn faster and change faster than thee completion

  • Be Prepared to Sacrifice for the Team

  • Stop looking out for #1

  • Personal sacrifice is part of the price you pay for membership of a group, for team support and most importantly, for the trust of your teammates

8. Help New Teammates Make Entry

  • Take them under your wing and get to know them

  • Show them the “ropes.”

9. Show Superb Self-Discipline

  • Hold yourself accountable for top-notch results

  • Do what needs to be done

  • Live within the rules

  • Stick to the standards

10. Make Sure YOU Make a Difference

  • "Essentially in life there are two actions: Performance or excuse. As a teammate you must decide which you will accept from yourself and from those with whom you work”

Creating a high-performance team provides for a sustainable competitive advantage! It results in lower cost of sales, higher profits and greater customer loyalty.

At Butler Street. We understand the advantages of teamwork. We help companies and their people grow. One way we do this is through teamwork— to enable cross-selling multiple services across multiple division to the same customer. This drives growth, builds barriers to exit and shows the customer a commitment to excellence. Click CONTACT and let’s start the conversation on how we can help you build a high-performance team!