Championship teams are made. They are not designed for peak performance right out of the gate. Winning a championship trophy is a factor of the leadership talent of the coach and the team management. For those of us who work in the business world, we are tasked with our own championship challenges every day.
Winning a championship in the business world typically means we have to win in the marketplace – beat our competitors, gain market share, grow revenues, improve customer satisfaction etc. As leaders, it is our responsibility to develop a culture that fosters peak performance.
What are some strategies to max out your team’s potential and deliver outstanding results?
I propose the 3Cs for maximizing team performance: Chart The Course, Create Momentum, Connect
a) Chart The Course: Leaders must be clear about the vision and goals of the team/organization and communicate this effectively to their team members. However, it’s not sufficient if your team has a good understanding of where you are going- the destination. You must also “Chart the course”– outline the process, steps and timelines that must be followed to ensure you reach your destination as planned. Leaders must learn to constantly course correct, like an airplane pilot should there be a deviation from the course planned. Leadership guru John C Maxwell in his book 21 Irrefutable laws of leadership states in Law #4- Law of Navigation :
Anyone can steer the Ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course- John C Maxwell.
b)Create Momentum: In sports, momentum creates excitement. When you see your team scoring points, as a team player or team captain it inspires you and propels you forward towards success. In business, momentum is crucial as well. When you start scoring wins, albeit small, you and your team start to create momentum. When momentum starts to build up motivation levels will increase and you will start to see incredible results from your team. Starting the “Momentum Fire” is the responsibility of the leader. The spark required to start this fire must come from the leaders own passion, energy and enthusiasm for the mission. Start with small wins. Take baby steps to get avoid overwhelming your team with the mammoth goals you are trying to accomplish. Once you have scored a few points as a team, you will have started to generate the impetus required to start scoring big and your teams confidence in themselves and faith in you as a leader will have improved drastically. John maxwell describes this in Law # 16- The Law of the Big Mo:
Momentum is a leader’s best friend- John C Maxwell
c) Connect: Emotional intelligence is a key ingredient in outstanding leaders. These leaders know how to truly connect with their people. “People don’t care how much you know, until you know how much you care”- John C. Maxwell. Great leaders are not just self-aware but also possess a deep understanding of the needs and expectations of those whom they lead. Leaders must first learn to connect with people to be effective. Empathy for your followers will help you better connect. Have you tried to put yourself in their shoes? Do you understand their cultural backgrounds or unique challenges they face that may hold them back from operating in the same environment as everyone else on your team. Most leaders really operate as managers and expect all team members perform and deliver outstanding results once they have been assigned their tasks. However, every individual is unique and everyone has a different background and circumstances. It is important to understand their strengths and weakness and adapt to each individual accordingly. Until you can connect on a personal level with each individual, show that you truly care about them and their success, do not expect the results you seek. Your relationships with your followers is a big factor in making the transition into a “Transformational Leader” as described in my previous article – “Are you a Transformational Leader”. John Maxwell’s Law #10- The Law of connection best describes this:
Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand- John C Maxwell.
Leadership development does not happen overnight. It is an investment you must make to help grow your people into future leaders and achieve outstanding results like a championship team.