Achieve Success Together: How Great Teamwork Turns Talent into Performance
Are you ready to learn how great teamwork can propel your organization into high performance? This week on #AskingForaFriend I have a conversation with my friend Dr. David Burkus about what makes a great team.
What are the characteristics of a great team?
We know that effective collaboration and cohesive teamwork lay the foundation for innovation, productivity, and overall organizational success. So, what are the key lessons from successful leaders and how do they foster and nurture great teamwork within their teams?
David’s work is aligned with Let’s Grow Leader’s human-centered approach and he shares with us some surprising research that he uncovered that super supports this culture-based approach!
A Human-Centered Approach to Great Teamwork
You can catch the discussion about the surprising research at the countdown timer stamp of 9:09…and read about it here:
Surprise #1: Talent has little effect on great teamwork. David says, “Taking talent and turning it into performance comes down a lot more to the culture of the team.” And he further defines culture as the habits, norms, and behaviors that the team engages in.
Of course, teams need great talent…but if the team member doesn’t fit with the team their talent might not bring the results you’re looking for.
Surprise #2: High-performing teams (the ones that turn talent into performance) have a lot of similarities. Fundamentally great teams have THREE things in common that we see across the research (and this applies to in-person, hybrid, virtual, cross-cultural, etc.).
And this is exciting because these are characteristics you can study, learn and implement across your organization.
Great Teamwork needs Common Understanding: Shared Vision, Clear Goals & Understanding of Your Team
Great teamwork is rooted in a shared vision and clear goals. But from a super practical point of view team performance depends on having a clear understanding of HOW you work together. This means you need to dedicate time and energy to actually get to know your team and learn how to work well together.
Of course, a great team needs leaders to provide a clear direction that inspires and motivates their teams to achieve greatness together. But unless the team knows how to support each person’s unique greatness – so that each team member has space to work at their highest and best – they might not hit the mark.
How to Create a Team Manual
If you want better clarity around how your team works together, try creating a team manual. Have each team member answer and discuss these 4 key questions. And in the video David and I unpack this for ourselves so you can hear examples directly from our work which will hopefully get your wheels churning around what your responses might be.
- I am at my best when …
- I am at my worst when …
- You can count on me to…
- What I need from you is…
And we want some inspiration from you! Who wants to join in the fun? Answer one of these questions in the comments below so we can learn more about what makes your team great.
Now you might be wondering…what are the other 2 characteristics that high-performing teams have in common???
To truly take on building great teamwork into the fabric of your company or organization you might need to take this a step further and read David’s book Best Team Ever! or our book Courageous Cultures. Or perhaps you’re ready to accelerate your team performance and build great teamwork with our Team Accelerator manager-led program (get your free demo here) or our Live Leadership Development program.
And (drumroll please!) the other two crucial characteristics of high-performing teams are… psychological safety and pro-social purpose.
Great Teamwork: Psychological Safety
When team members feel safe to share their thoughts, admit mistakes, and seek support without fear of judgment or retribution, you’ll land in a culture of increased collaboration and innovation. You can read more about why people don’t speak up and practical ways to increase psychological safety right here.
Great Teamwork: Pro-Social Purpose
And a pro-social purpose reflects a genuine concern for the well-being of people, communities, and the planet, and it guides the organization’s decision-making and actions. People like to work in a company that has shared values and purpose…and this purpose-driven approach is becoming increasingly important as we see workers wanting to align with organizations and companies that have a meaningful impact. Check out David’s book for more on this.
By prioritizing great teamwork, organizations can create a positive work environment, drive innovation, and achieve remarkable results. So, let’s commit to building and fostering great teamwork within our organizations, inspiring our teams to reach new heights together.
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