What really drives high-performing teams?

Play to people’s strengths, at the highest level. If you play to strengths and you want a successful team, you need diversity. Going back to the sports analogy, you can’t have everybody who wants to be a striker. If that’s their strength and you build a team of strikers, you probably won’t win. You need to ask, “What does this team need?” and then make sure you’ve got the diversity of skill sets where people are strong. That’s probably at the core of it.

Ultimately, as a leader, you’re a conductor more than anything. You’re making sure you’re getting the best out of people; when to bring them in and when they need to step back; when you need to dial up the volume, the intensity; that’s your job as a leader. It’s not to do the stuff. It’s to set the tone of that and having good people who are capable of delivering.
The worst is when you get them to play against their weaknesses. If you’ve got everyone working on their weak areas, how are you ever going to be high performing? You’ve got to be able to course-correct very quickly. That’s the leadership role. If you see somebody struggling, the question is, “Why?” Maybe they’re not getting the time to do the things they’re strong at because they’re covering something else for somebody else. You have to look at the whole picture.

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