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The Performance Factor

Compiled by Chuck Olson

Title: The Performance Factor: Unlocking the Secrets of Teamwork

Author: Pat MacMillian

Copyright Date: 2001

Book Description:

As the tides of all the trendy business initiatives from the last twenty years have all disappeared, one concept has remained in their wake and continues to thrive today: team strategies. When implemented correctly, the results are impressive. Organizations—whether they are corporations or ministries—have successfully developed team strategies and are now experiencing significant increases in productivity and services. Team resource expert Pat MacMillan discusses the characteristics of a high performance team and how to implement a new paradigm of leadership to bring any organization to greater efficiency.

Book Quotes:

Those organizations that can blend the power of team and leadership will experience exceptional results in a world that will allow nothing less. (xiii)

In a world of discontinuous change, organizational survival and success rests on the organization’s ability to develop and deploy two essential elements: exceptional leadership and high performance teamwork. (xiv)

Information drives the amount of change; communication drives the speed of change. (8)

This era will be defined by a new breed of leadership. Whereas management is sufficient in times of rest and stability, in a world of white-water change, leadership is a non-negotiable essential. (8)

Basically, teams work the best in and bring a lot of value to fast-moving, uncertain, non-routine environments in which interdependent people must perform at exceptional levels. (23)

Teamwork is not an end in itself but rather a means to an end. Therefore, a team must ultimately be judged by its results. By exceptional I mean synergistic. Synergy is the state in which the output is greater than the sum of the inputs. (25)

The primary difference between a team and any other type of group is synergism. (26)

A team is a group of people committed to a common purpose who choose to cooperate in order to achieve exceptional results. (29)

Team’s possess:

  • Common Purpose
  • Crystal Clear Roles
  • Accepted Leadership
  • Effective Processes
  • Solid Relationships
  • Excellent Communication (35-38)

Creating alignment is one of the most important roles of leadership. It often falls to the team leader to ensure the purpose of the team is defined, clear, and communicated.

The power of teamwork flows out of alignment between the interests of individual team members and the mission of the team. To achieve such alignment, team members must see the team task as:

  • Clear – I see it. Every team member must have a crystal clear understanding of the team task. Without such understanding the needed alignment cannot be achieved. Don’t assume such understanding exists. Both the team members and team leader should keep talking until the light goes on.
  • Relevant – I want it. The degree to which the mission of the team is desirable and wanted by the members of the team will greatly influence the energy, creativity, and effort they exert to achieve it.
  • Significant – It’s worth it. Team objectives must be of sufficient magnitude to make it worth the effort.
  • Urgent – I want it, . . . now! There is a clear time-value attached to the achievement of this mission.
  • Achievable – I believe it. The team must really believe this task is achievable. This is where the art of goal-setting resides. On one hand, the goal must be big enough to motivate the needed effort; on the other, it must be realistically achievable. (59)

High performance teams balance individual responsibility and mutual accountability. (85)

Trust is the biggest factor in my choosing to cooperate. If I don’t trust you (both your character or competence), it’s highly unlikely that I will choose to be “dependent” on you to achieve my goals and interests. Trust glues a team together. (85)

I have found that a good definition of leadership in any context might be a person influencing people to accomplish a purpose. (94)

Trust is earned (more realistically it is lent) every time leaders do what they say they will do, do it with excellence, and do it with a spirit that conveys they serve and value those whom they lead. (108)

Trust is the essential quality in any team relationship. Team members will not work interdependently with anyone they do not trust…no trust, no relationship, no team. (140)

Trust is a measurement of my sense of safety with you. It’s not a matter of whether we trust a certain individual, but how much we trust him. (141)

To be accountable is to be answerable. It’s an implied obligation to give an account of one’s actions, progress, or results. (148)

The team must address four primary issues or questions. The first two questions are asked and answered individually in the quiet of one’s own mind. The second two questions are addressed collectively as a group.

  • Alignment–Why am I here?
  • Relationship–Who are you and why are you here?
  • Task–What shall we do?
  • Strategy–How shall we do it?

Chuck Olson

As founder and president of Lead With Your Life, Dr. Chuck Olson is passionate about inspiring, resourcing and equipping Kingdom leaders to lead from the inside out.  To lead, not with the external shell of positions, achievements or titles, but from an internal commitment to a deep, abiding and transparent relationship with Jesus. Serving as a pastor and leadership coach for over forty years, Chuck has a track record of building these truths deep into the lives of both ministry and marketplace leaders.

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