QUESTION: A team of high performers will get the work done.
FACT: Only if they have a strong leader.
Every manager wishes to have a high-performing team, (as it is believed that such a team can scale any height meet with any challenges. There is no denying that half he battle is won by recruiting such a team, but, if it is not managed properly, getting work done is an uphill task. The adage—too many cooks spoil the broth—comes true, if the team combination is such that there are several subject matter experts.
They are experts because of their successful record. But in some cases, their past and present employers might have pampered them, which leads to inflated egos. In other cases, their previous managers might not have provided the’ proper feedback on their soft skills due to fear of antagonizing them; so, there’s a risk that these high performers may not ‘bode well for a good work environment. All these will make it difficult to achieve any consensus on issues, potentia9 leading to a project delay. Sometimes, there might be a tendency towards forming subgroups which will impact the team adversely and, hinder it from reaching a common understanding.
A strong leader is one who recognizes the skills of his team members and gives them the freedom to get on with things, setting dear goals and timescales. While a strong leader is a must for any team, he is especially important for a team of high performers. The leader must be well respected and should be a facilitator. It is advisable for him to divide the work in such a way that people will have space and autonomy to make decisions, and where they do not step on each other’s toes, The leader should spend upfront time in building a consensus, identifying risks and addressing concerns in smaller groups so that the important meetings can yield the desired results in a shorter time; He should spend time in talking to everyone individually—so as to understand their suggestions and develop new ideas; sometimes, people are more forthcoming in one-to- one discussions.
Leadership skills are being continuously tested in this type of a team. Once the hurdle to align all team members towards the same goal and approach is crossed, every challenge looks surmountable and new goals can be achieved.
WHAT CAN YOU DO? A team with a majority of high performers can lead to disaster if not managed properly. Your leaders skills are tested in such a situation. You have to act wisely during work distribution and assign the right responsibilities to the right people. Sometimes, high performers show too much conviction about the way a work has to be carried out, So, any suggestion of change should be well thought through and discussed at team meetings; once they see the merit in the consensus, they will align towards the change. The other area you should focus upon is on teaming and communication. As high performers are ,very good in their own respective areas, they may not have much of an urge to brainstorm and come to a common understanding; so you, as a leader, should adopt appropriate ways of communication in order to achieve the desired result. You have to put in a lot of effort in building the habit of trust in such a team. Once that’s done, your task becomes easy.