How do you build a high performance team?
With the claim to fame of being one of the “100 Best Business Speakers in Britain”, Jeff Grout’s coaching, speaking and consultancy work focuses firmly on leadership and business performance.
After realising he wasn’t cut out for the town planning roles he’d qualified for, he travelled the world. He played the part of an English Catholic priest in a Bollywood movie and picked grapefruit in Israel before joining a recruitment business which he subsequently grew to a firm with a £65m domestic turnover.
His career history includes a four-year stint as Business Manager to Sir Clive Woodward, as well as authoring multiple business books, collaborating with the BBC on an interview training video, and more.
We’re excited about Jeff’s Vistage event – Building High Performance Teams – which takes place on July 12th. We caught up with Jeff ahead of the event to learn more about what he’ll be covering.
The three key elements of a high performance team
Is your team really a team?
“Whilst we call every group of people that works together a ‘team’, it doesn’t necessarily mean they act like a team”, says Jeff. “The first thing we need to do is surround ourselves with great people”.
‘Great’, of course, will be defined differently from business to business. What’s important is that you have the right people to enable you to achieve your specific business objectives.
“In many cases, people are focused on only three things: skills, qualifications and experience”, says Jeff. “What I’ve found is that success in any job has less to do with skills, qualifications and experience, and everything to do with having the right attitude and behaviour”.
Attracting and retaining the right people is the first of of the three key elements to building a high performance team that Jeff will cover in his event.
“What characteristics should you be looking for in a great team member?” asks Jeff. He highlights that the job market is very competitive…so why should these great team members choose you over any other business?
Jeff’s event will cover “the attraction game”: how employers can provide potential hires with a compelling proposition to choose them over anyone else.
Once you’ve hired great team members, the next task is leading and motivating them to success. “Your team members will be asking, what’s the plan?” says Jeff. “The leader acts as a compass, but having a vision and setting the direction simply isn’t enough in itself”.
The big question is: are people actually following you? “Without followers, you’re not a leader”, he adds. “You need to get people engaged so that they want to come on your journey with you”.
The third element that Jeff will cover is improving their skills to make them more effective. “How do we make these people even better?”, he asks. “How can we develop them?” This, he says, involves giving feedback: something that many managers are notoriously bad at. Providing this feedback ensures that every single team member – no matter how junior or senior their role – feels engaged and included, and that their contribution counts.
The benefits of a high performance team
Jeff highlights the fact that when businesses are looking to achieve a competitive edge, they’ll often turn to finance, strategy and technology as their first ports of call. “My argument is that it’s team performance that conveys the ultimate competitive advantage”, says Jeff. “And therefore, a high performing team is one that’s fully engaged in the mission in terms of where the business is going”.
When team members are fully engaged, they’re less likely to leave as they enjoy what they’re doing. They feel that they’re truly playing a key role in that journey to achieve the vision that has been set out.
Why attend Jeff’s event?
Jeff’s event is designed for those who are looking for the inspiration they need to create a great team, and to resolve any existing people issues.
“One of the questions I’ll be asking at the event is, how many people on your team would you re-recruit today?”, Jeff teases. “Every time I ask this question there are undoubtedly people they wouldn’t re-recruit because they’re not performing as they should be.
If this applies to you, you’ll find that Jeff’s event will give you the tools you need to encourage and stimulate high performance, as well as addressing underperformance. Jeff wants to banish the reticence to give feedback due to the risk of causing offence. Instead, he wants managers to see feedback as a gift to help people to improve.
While Jeff’s event will focus primarily on setting a compelling vision that team members feel motivated to follow, recognising their contributions along the way, he also stresses that leaders also need to focus on themselves.
“Leaders need to create some time and space to think and reflect”, he adds. “In my experience, leaders are often so busy being visible within the business that they don’t give themselves enough time and space to think about what the business needs. When these decision impact the livelihood of two or three hundred people, this can cause problems”.
Blending first-hand experience, relevant examples from high achievers in business and sport and case studies, Jeff’s event will help you to build the high performance team that will lead you to success. Register online here.