Global Leadership Consultants

LEADERSHIP THOUGHTS

4 Rules of Leading High-Performance Teams

Sep 5, 2016 | Leadership Thoughts (Blog) | 1 comment

One of the major mistakes people make while managing teams is thinking of them as something mechanical, like machines that work perfectly when geared.

If they do not work well, as with machines, someone must come out to adjust or change any defective part. After all, a machine can hardly self-repair or self-replace. At Oxford Leadership, we consider teams (and organisations) to be living, complex adaptive systems, and apply the knowledge we derive from the theories of complexity and chaos.

Below are the four laws or principles that I apply to a working team. In my opinion, all team leaders must know these, and apply them, if they want to take their team to its optimal level of development and performance:

RULE 1. Self-organisation
As a leader, you should not try to force things to happen; remember that spontaneous processes routinely occur in complex living systems. You do need to influence how things are organised, however. The common fear is falling into anarchy; with a clear plan of influence, this will not happen. The risk that fear generates is excessive control, the subsequent elimination of initiative and responsibility, and the creation of frustration and even resentment. My question to you is: Are there any aspects of the team you are trying to over-control?

RULE 2. Entropy
Over time, things lose energy, wear out and become disordered. A living system tends to disorder, and the leader should ensure a constant injection of energy. That does not mean that he or she must impute energy, but the leader must create the conditions for the team to regenerate energy periodically. How do you do this? What activities do you regularly promote to renew the energy of your team?

RULE 3. Interconnectivity
Everything is connected at some point. A 2008 study conducted by Microsoft demonstrated that we are all connected within seven degrees of separation. Facebook now says that we are within four degrees of separation. At most, there are only three people between you and anyone in the world. In your team, what are the causal relations you do not see with the naked eye? What are these deep connections that affect your team?

RULE 4. Consciousness
Consciousness affects reality. We do not see the world as it is, but as we are. Einstein said that if you want to change something, you must first change the mentality that supports it. Our consciousness and our beliefs determine our reality. What change of consciousness and mind might you need to face to be a better leader for your team? Which changes could you promote for the members of your team?

Our Chairman and Founder Brian Bacon published a great article on this subject, “Characteristics of High Performing Teams”, which addresses the dynamic and provides guidelines of how a team should work together. I highly recommend you read this and reflect on how you can implement these guidelines and effectively lead your “High Performing Team.”

Article AuthorPablo Tovar
Leadership Consultant
Spain
Profile & Contact Info

More Thoughts from the Blog

Characteristics of High-Performing Team Meetings

The success of a team's performance is determined by how well it prepares, conducts and follows through after its meetings.

Collaborative Leadership – A White Paper

Leaders today need an expanded repertoire of skills and new mindset. They must be able to think strategically in a global context, articulate an inspiring vision across cultures, and make...

The Power of a Positive NO

I have come to appreciate that perhaps the main obstacle to getting to Yes is learning how to say No properly. All too often, we cannot bring ourselves to say No when we want to and know we should.

Reinventing Management

The “failure of management” in investment banking, that led to credit crisis of 2007–2008 is far more than the story of a few CEOs losing control of their organizations;

What’s love got to do with it?

Love is more than an emotion. It is also a state of conscious awareness and intention that shapes many behaviours critically important to any organisation.

The Solutions in our Midst

We’re just at the beginning of the beginning. In the world as a whole, things are getting much better, and things are getting much worse. Welcome to the era of transformation.

Out of Classroom Experiences

Leaders, managers and HR staff can all help individuals author their own leadership stories while fulfilling their roles and responsibilities.

Emerging Worldviews

We have entered an era of global connectivity in which networks predominate and our interdependence determines the direction and consequences of our actions.

Creating Psychological Safety: Managing with the Brain in Mind

Leaders and managers must work to create a perception of certainty to build confident and dedicated teams.

Women and Negotiation: Why Men Should Come to the Table

Women generally do better than men in win-win types of negotiation, and worse in win-lose negotiations.

Making Sense of Strategy in an Uncertain World

Strategic planners must provide enough information, analysis and detail for a plan to be successful, but not so much that the strategic window passes.

Building Cultures of Sustainability

As sustainability becomes an important objective for many, leaders in organisations are considering how they can change their own behaviour and influence that of their colleagues.

A Hidden Lever of Leadership

Strategic planners must provide enough information, analysis and detail for a plan to be successful, but not so much that the strategic window passes.

Managing and Leading in the Midst of Uncertainty

Strategic planners must provide enough information, analysis and detail for a plan to be successful, but not so much that the strategic window passes.

Too Good to Fail: Purpose-driven Business

Since 1868, the Tata Group has made a habit of putting communities first, and has thereby grown to a market capitalisation of $141 billion. Something’s clearly working here.

Feminine Principle and Theory U: Character Based Leadership

Theory U describes how change happens – and to be a change leader requires the right balance of self-discipline and freedom.

Corporation as CEO: Character Based Leadership

Precision Biologic CEO has crafted a corporate culture where employees are treated like customers - principles that defy common business sense, but the company’s performance speaks for itself.

The Power of Brands to Contribute to a Sustainable Future

Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer goods manufacturers, has taken up the challenge of becoming a promoter of sustainability.

Conversational Leadership: Aligning People with Strategy

In the new economy, conversations are the most important form of work... so much so that the conversation is the organization.

The value of Intuitive Intelligence in leadership

Recent discoveries in neuroscience give new importance and credibility to the role of intuition in leadership.

More Thoughts from the Blog

The Future of Leadership

Are CEOs the new spiritual leaders of their communities in the 21stcentury? From my 20 years of experience, I think so, as do many of my colleagues and friends such as Norman Wolfe, author of The Living Organisation: Transforming Business to Create Extraordinary Results.

Story telling through the lens of coaching – why are you telling me this?

This post is not about good or bad stories but of how conscious I am of the kind of story I tell or hear. What is the impact my story is having? Why am I telling it? What difference does it make to tell a story with a clear intention and desired impact – to me and to others?

How Purpose Supports your Leadership in a VUCA world

As we move into a new, exciting yet scary era of exponential change and disruption we can’t rely on the old ways of leading and organising our businesses and society. We’e already experiencing rapid change and disruption...

Leadership 4.0 – A Review of the Thinking

The 4th Industrial Revolution is bringing unprecedented changes to societies and organizations throughout the world. The multiple ramifications of digitalization and the accompanying acceleration and increased complexity...

What is your Story? -A “happily ever after” starts with analysing your “once upon a time”

An organisation’s story can be so deeply rooted within its culture that it can determine its future, whether good or bad, and project ultimate success or failure. The old paradigm of command and control is a story crafted long ago...

How Purpose Drives Performance in Organisations

The trend is undeniable - purpose drives performance. The idea of big businesses driven by a purpose beyond their products, profits, and ego is no longer a utopian vision - it’s becoming a reality.

7 Characteristics of Leadership 4.0 – What successful leaders do differently

Digital technologies have disrupted everything, not only within IT, but also leadership styles and how we manage our organisations. Leaders at every tech company are not digital leaders, but it is undisputed that Elon Musk...

3 Principles for Embracing the weQ Trend: Leadership 4.0

With the agreement that change is necessary, the question is how? The straightforward answer is that good leadership can endure open-ended co-creative processes. As experts in management development,Oxford Leadership see three guiding principles...

Leadership 4.0 in the “Digital Age”

Today “Digital Leadership” is one of the latest buzzword within organisation boardrooms. But what does it mean? Essentially, it is a type of leadership that is fast-paced, cross-hierarchical, responsive, cooperative, and team-oriented.

Leadership challenges in the V.U.C.A world

One of the key failures is to lead us to find what is probable rather than what is possible. The VUCA environment means that we must focus on what is possible, rather than on what is likely to occur.

Leadership 4.0: How can Organisations Adapt in a Rapidly Evolving World

The next generation of leaders will be those who can develop a common purpose, trusting people and empowering teams to act on their own initiative. Shifting the structure and mind-set of an...

4 Rules of Leading High-Performance Teams

At Oxford Leadership, we consider teams (and organisations) to be living, complex adaptive systems, and apply the knowledge we derive from the theories of complexity and chaos to our approach.

Purpose Driven Leadership for turbulent times

For approximately 20 years now,I have been involved in developing leaders, teams and even whole organisations to become more purpose-driven. What I have learnt during this time is no matter what challenges lie ahead...

Leadership Lessons from Nelson Mandela’s Life

Nearly 20 years after the end of the brutal and racist apartheid regime, South Africa’s citizens are still searching for a new leadership model to carry forward Nelson Mandela’s ideals amid a host of mounting problems.
Focus people on the few things that make the biggest difference #TransformingLeadersForGood #purposedriven https://hbr.org/2018/02/tell-employees-what-you-want-them-to-strive-for-in-as-few-words-as-possible