5 Steps To A High Performing Team


One of the most daunting tasks for any new leader is beginning to lift the performance of their team and not knowing really where to start. You may have big ambitions and you’d like to help your team stand out from the crowd and put your organisation on the map.

If you’re new to a leadership role – or leading staff of any kind for the first time – this will give you a framework to work to. It will help your team to be seen as THE go-to team – the team that is forward thinking, proactive, at the forefront of change and high performing.

There’s a process I use when I work with individuals, but it works equally well with larger groups. There’s five steps to it, based on my leadership model, The Leadership Presence Blueprint. Once you’ve mastered all five components, I call it Total Leadership – leading from the inside out.




Here’s some questions to prompt your thinking for putting it into action and beginning the process of creating a high performing team.

Strengthen Yourself

One thing to consider is whether you have a values statement that has consensus and is a working document. This means everyone knows what the values mean in practice – if I came and spent a day with your team, I’d see those values in action. All of your decisions are in line with those values and they drive the behaviours, attitudes and performance of the whole team.

From an external perspective, what would tell me that your team is a confident one? What’s your team’s attitude to risk and making bold moves?

Managing Your State

Emotional Intelligence is a crucial component of effective leadership – it’s what sets great leaders apart from the rest of the pack. A team can develop emotional intelligence too – let’s take the ability to understand emotions in others. How well do you as a team truly understand the needs, feelings and emotions of your customers, clients and service-users? How can you begin to deepen this knowledge and then how can you use it to improve your performance?

Communicate Powerfully

What is the message your team gives out and how well is it communicated? How consistent it is? How easy is it to engage with your team or organisation? How can you improve it? What are relationships like between your team and those outside it?

Raise Your Profile

What are you doing to put yourselves on the map? Who knows about you and what reputation do you have? How are you managing that reputation? Consider your network – where do you fit into it and what are the quality of the others inside it? How do you keep in touch with them and what do you do to nurture those relationships?

Create Impact

What is your team setting out to achieve – what difference does it want to make? What’s its focus and how intentionally does it plan its activities to achieve this? Is your team a leader in its field? What are you doing differently?

What impact do you currently make – how do you know? What needs to change?

These questions will help you to start thinking about what needs to be done to create your own high-performing team. Is there an area here that you’d like to delve into a little more?

If you’re interested in either developing your own leadership presence or that of your team, then my new Leadership Day Retreat is an ideal opportunity to spend a day immersed in learning how to life your performance.

Susan Ritchie Social Media Profile 2I’m Susan Ritchie, an author, leadership and executive coach and trainer. My second book, Strategies for Being Visible: 14 Profile-Raising Ideas for Emerging Female Leaders is now available as a paperback, an audiobook and for the Kindle reader.