Recently, I have been working on the design framework for one of our new leadership development programmes – “Building High Performing Teams.”

While discussing with the client their objectives, expectations, and the impact they expected to see from our course, I found myself reflecting on my own journey of employing and developing some highly effective and successful teams.

It wasn’t easy.

My first role as a Sales Manager (many years ago) was a role I inherited by being the most successful salesperson in the company for 4 years running. Back in the early ’90s if you excelled at something it was a natural progression to becoming a manager with the expectations that those you managed would be as successful as you. There was no training or support given on how to lead a team never mind how to build a high performing one!

To build a highly effective team you first require skilled, enthusiastic, and willing individuals…that’s a given! But how to turn them into a team that has everyone aligned and will achieve your productivity goals can certainly be challenging ……. but in my experience well worth it!

I recognised there are a few basic principles that all high-performing teams have.


A strong leader is a great communicator, someone who can tell the story…paint a picture of the vision…who can inspire…show their team what success will look like, and motivate them to buy into the collective goal.

hands teamwork team shake


Successful teams usually have quite a diverse make-up. People who have different strengths, skills and experience will give you a whole range of thinking, input and actions.


A common goal – a purpose – an understanding of the objective – “What will success look like”,


Taking ownership and accountability not only for themselves but for the whole team. A willingness to challenge one another, listen to other perspectives, care for one another but happily call out poor behaviours when they see them.

But there is one most important quality that MUST be present to achieve a high performing team.

rowing team taking a quick break at sunset


Without trust in one another, your team will be nothing more than a bunch of individuals brought together to deliver your strategy where mediocre results are acceptable.

The journey to building a high performing team is not always an easy one, but the members of the successful teams I have had the privilege to lead during my career have reaped many rewards. The majority have gone onto much bigger and better roles. Some even building their own high-performing teams!

I thank them all for their belief in the common goal and bigger picture, diversity of thought and ideas, collaboration, and accountability to one another and their trust in me!

So, the question I would ask all the senior leaders out there is:

Are you happy with your senior team being good? Or do you want them to be great?!

To discuss how Excelarate can design a programme that would help your organisation, then please feel free to speak to us.

Our programmes are designed to suit……not made to fit.

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