I want to lead a great team – don’t you? I want to work on big ideas that will have a big impact. I want to invest my leadership energy in people and projects that matter. I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way. So where do we begin? We have to start where we are – but thankfully we don’t have to stay there.

One of the things I’ve been guilty of from time to time over the years is setting the bar too low – for myself and my team. This can take many forms, but today I want to talk about how if we’re not careful, we can set the bar too low as it relates to our team.

In previous posts, I’ve outlined the big ideas we’ve discovered over the last few decades regarding high performance in a team setting – the key ingredients are Talent, Skills and Community. Tim Tassopoulos, Senior V.P. of Operations at Chick-fil-A challenged our organization at our annual meeting last week to be clear on some important distinctions in this arena.

People and Talent are not the same thing…

Every team is comprised of people. However, many teams lack the Talent they need for great accomplishment. One of our roles as leaders is to always be looking for Talent – always recruiting. What does Talent look like in your context? Don’t settle for just anybody to be on your team.

Assigning Tasks is not the same as developing Skills

High Performance Teams have skilled members. These are men and women who have individual skills and team skills. If we’re not careful, we could find ourselves delegating tasks rather than developing skills. If this happens, over time, your team will be devoid of any initiative and creativity. Don’t confuse delegation with skill development.

Collaboration is no substitute for real Community

People in high performance teams do work together – they do collaborate. But they do so much more. Real Community is about doing life together. When this happens, it is the turbo-charger for team performance. The members of the team are no longer just working for the organization; they are working for each other also. Don’t settle for getting along with each other. Invest the time and energy in cultivating authentic community and your team will never be the same again.

 

Author: Mark Miller

Mark is a business leader, author, communicator, photographer, husband, and father. He spends his time helping leaders grow.