invest-in-teamElite athletes don’t achieve elite status just because they want to. They invest heavily in themselves and focus on how to build performance. It takes years of practice, mentoring and coaching to become great.

So why do we expect business teams to achieve high performance with little to no investment in team building and leadership development?

In a recent article on December 14, 2015 from Forbes on-line titled “Your Single Best Investment for 2016” by Josh Linkner it is pretty clear that investing in leadership and team building is critical for success and this focus will have a solid return on your investment.

”According to a 2011 study by CEB, “Companies that invest in leadership development have outperformed others by 15 times over the last 60 years.” Businesses invest countless resources in technology, facilities, and compliance, yet the most powerful investment of all – investing to elevate team performance – is often underfunded or cut altogether. Ironically, companies that prioritize leadership development can enjoy enormous boosts in both revenue and productivity.”

It has been said that the front line produces the bottom line. By this account team performance is critical. Companies must focus on and build high performance teams. The responsibility to build these high performance teams falls upon the leader and yet so often the leader is not prepared to and does not know how to guide their team towards high performance.

Just because the team members have the experience, knowledge and tools to do the job does not mean they will do it well. Many teams are good, but few are great.

Leaders are often promoted because of their success as a team member. They are often very talented at the task required to be successful in whatever line of business they are in. Once in a leadership position however, the skills that got them there are often no longer required and a whole new set of people skills are essential. Somehow we just expect this transformation to come along with the title and the new office. But without guidance most leaders fall short in their role as team builders.

Building a high performance team is a very deliberate process and requires both formal and informal team building as well as internal and external resources.

To build a high performance team a leader must first start with a vision of what high performance is given the goals and roles for the team. As with any organizational vision, this team vision states the end goal and provides direction for decisions, resource allocation, training, and so much more. Once the vision has been defined the leader must set about to build the skills and dynamics within the team to bring this vision to life. And in the process the leader must build in frequent check in points to reflect upon the progress of the team and make any fine tune adjustments required.

At Summit Team Building we call this the “Deliberate Success Model” and we use it to help leaders learn how to be a great leader and to build high performance teams. At Summit Team Building we deliver leadership development workshops that focus on building a high performance team, emotional intelligence, culture development, building trust, communicating effectively, leading change, managing conflict, and 360 leadership development.

Invest in your teams with one of our team development workshops or our team building programs and your leaders with a leadership development workshop and you are setting your company up for a great 2016.