Nine essential elements of high performance teams

Lindsay McKenna delivered a fascinating session for MD2MD members on High Performance Teamwork based on ideas from observing successful teams in the wild of the African bush – where great teamwork can be the basis of Life… or Death. One of the frameworks she shared with the group was her 9 elements of a high performance team which she clusters into three main themes and which I, as usual summarise for the impatient business leader below.

Lindsay makes the point that businesses gain from a common approach to teamwork and having a robust repeatable process that can be mastered. She points out that real benefits are derived when new teams can start up and team members can move from team to team and feel instantly “at home” with the approach being taken and the language and tools adopted.

The three key elements necessary for success are, Lindsay suggests, that teams must have the will to succeed, the ability to succeed and the energy to succeed.

The will to succeed

This is the foundation of any team – the team members need to be fully engaged.  It requires a common purpose, explicit mutual commitment and trust.

The ability to succeed

But having the will is not enough, the team must also have the ability to succeed.  They must be enabled to succeed. That means agreed ways of working, that the team members have the ability to perform the required tasks in the agreed timescales and that there are means of ensuring accountability.

The energy to succeed

And finally the team needs energy. It must be energised. A positive and innovative culture that responds positively and constructively to unforeseen obstacles and a recognition of both contribution and achievements by individuals and the team.

Bob Bradley

Bob is a specialist in running high value added service businesses, having run five such businesses as General Manager, Managing Director or Chief Executive. His last employed role was as Chief Executive of a £16M, 200 person family owned business having previously been Chief Executive of an AIM listed company for which he raised £5M funding and which he grew from £4M to £12M in three years through two acquisitions and organic growth, and a corporate PLC subsidiary where he was Managing Director responsible for delivering £10M profit on £45M turnover through 450 staff.

Bob is now following a portfolio career providing entrepreneurial business leaders with mentoring and coaching around business leadership, business growth, merger integration and exit planning.

Core to his portfolio is MD2MD. Having experienced for himself the value of having a strong sounding board of fellow Managing Directors he founded MD2MD in 2004 to provide groups of business leaders with a confidential environment within which they can support and challenge each other to raise their game as leaders and by doing so improve the success of their organisation.

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