Behind every success is a great team

If you want to succeed at work, your team performance is the key

Behind every success is a great team

Team performance

Whatever you want to achieve, you need a team to make it happen

Whether it’s an outstanding sales person, leader or cyclist, “winning” is never just about one person. Take practical steps to improve your organisation’s teamwork.

Developing team performance for more agile, innovative organisations

Strength in Diversity

If you had told me 15 years ago Before Husband (B.H.) that I would become so committed to the Tour de France I would record and watch every single moment of the race, I would have laughed. It’s surprising sometimes what we get interested in. What is even more interesting is why we become interested.

Until I started watching the Tour de France, I thought that there was just one single cyclist who wins the entire race. The first one to cross the finish line. Far from it.

In cycling, the team leader or ‘Captain’ has the greatest chance of winning the overall Tour de France title. Yet it’s a team event. Some cyclists lead on sprinting, climbing or time-trials. Not just that, every team has a number of ‘domestiques’, cyclists whose sole task is to support their leaders to be the best they can be. Then there is the team of people who don’t cycle but provide all the support needed by the team. Everything from taking care of the bikes to taking care of the riders.

The striking thing about the Tour de France – and every  successful sports event –  is just how much teamwork is needed. Every star performer is different. Every support role is unique. The power and strength of each team lies in its diversity. A team made up of sprinters will not succeed any more than any team of specialists. We need different skills and qualities to make a whole team successful.

Look around your teams. Do you have introverts and extroverts? People who are great at detail and also big thinkers? Do you have leaders and followers? Risk takers and people who consolidate?

Play to Individual Strengths

When you lead a team, your performance and success is delivered by the team. When we use the Tour de France as an example, we learn a few key ideas:

  • Pick your team carefully and create a diverse team with a range of skills. It is the total range and depth of skills which enable the team’s performance.
  • Everyone in the team needs to be clear on their role, their boundaries and what is needed from them.
  • When you celebrate success, celebrate with the team. It may be one person who lifts the cup or wears the yellow jersey. It’s the whole team who made it happen.
  • Your team is only as strong as your weakest link. Your team is a dynamic, changing thing because of the people in it. Keep on top of that. If team members need support, training, information, a change of approach, you need to deliver that to maintain overall team performance.
  • No one is great at everything. Pick the right person for each job.
“Many people have shared with me how much the module on Team Performance positively impacted on their lives. They all appreciate a growing sense of greater team spirit. This closeness with colleagues, together with peer coaching, makes it possible to support and learn from one another.”
2020 Management Master Class
Senior Manager, Learning & Development

What next?

Every team is different. Knowing how to encourage the best, most consistent performance and delivery from your team is a real leadership skill. Fortunately, there is a lot to help you with that.

You can explore a number of practical articles and suggestions on how to develop your leadership skills and your team using the links below. Our learning, development and coaching provision supports leaders, managers and teams globally. It’s all designed specifically for each client and you can get a feel for the range of our delivery here. Our learning is immersive, engaging and highly practical. Whether it’s virtual or physical you can trust us to help you build your best teams.

Refresh and strengthen your team with a practical exercise on engagement and purpose

A  global management specialist gives practical tips for managing more effectively

When your team isn’t working well, turn it around. Our head of coaching  explains

Psychologically safe teams, outperform all others. See what helps to improve team safety


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