A Talent Leader Perspective: What Makes a High Performing Team?
At Arc Aspicio, we build exceptional teams that deliver high quality and bold solutions for both our clients and our company. As a talent leader, I have spent the past nine years building consulting teams that achieve results. Before this, I was a college athlete on a successful sports team.
To me, the characteristics that make up a high-performing team in the workplace are the same for a winning sports team. I get excited when we get a team right – it’s one of my favorite things about my role.
What does it mean to get a team right? Among other things, I personally think a great team:
Has the right mix of strengths and talents – Teams need to have the appropriate technical and analytical skills to perform their work, but once we cover these, we select the best fit with our culture. We find that soft skills such as learning ability, flexibility, honesty, creativity, and work ethic are equally as important. The ability to cross-train is also critical. On a great team, you can take a vacation and your team is ready to provide full coverage!
Is self-aware and strives for excellence and continuously improves – Team members recognize accomplishments often, give each other honest feedback, and know their collective strengths and weaknesses. They create bold and innovative ideas, bring their collective expertise to every problem, and take action. Teams need a safe environment where team members can try and fail, and not be afraid to try again
Demonstrates empathy and open communication – Real friendships on a great team are not uncommon. Teams that see situations through others’ perspectives and remember to celebrate personal and professional successes usually have tremendous trust among teammates. These teams are also able to discuss difficult issues and resolve conflict quickly – the team doesn’t let drama and underperformance disrupt their ultimate goals
Has strong leadership and accountability – A great team needs a great leader(s) who sets a clear direction, communicates persuasively, inspires, and truly cares about the team’s mission, goals, and clients. They delegate interesting work to build skills within their team, but they are also a good role model when it comes to being accountable for work that needs to be done. A great leader helps their people develop skills to be future leaders, and addresses underperformance quickly. They create an environment where individuals own and take responsibility for their work and learn from mistakes. I wrote a prior blog on this topic, ‘Leading Teams in Consulting’. Check it out!
I love seeing great teams at Arc Aspicio. The energy and positive momentum towards achieving results on a team begins the cycle of even greater results. When a great team comes together, anything is possible.
About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio enhances the future of our nation by creating bold ideas and bringing them to life. A consulting and solutions company, Arc Aspicio solves problems by applying our integrated capabilities in strategy, design, data, human capital, behavioral science, and technology. The company passionately pursues our vision to be the hub of creativity where people take action to change the world. To do this, employees collaborate with clients and partners to create solutions using a human-centered approach. Innovation is not possible without action. The company focuses on strategy first, then takes a hands-on approach implementing ideas to achieve results. Join Arc Aspicio and our Strategy Innovation Lab (SILab) by creating and sharing ideas to inspire people to change the world. Follow us on Twitter @ArcAspicio @SILabDC and learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.