Five Characteristics of a High Performance Team that Lead to Success

Are your team members the best they can be? Are you satisfied with how much work your team is getting done? Are you tired of taking up the slack? If your team isn’t performing at its best, it’s time to refocus and learn what high performance teams do differently.

In this post we share five characteristics of succesful teams. These include:

  • cohesion
  • ownership
  • goal-setting
  • innovation
  • confidence.

But winning teams do more than help the company win – they also help the leader and each member of the team win in their every area of their life!

(I’ll share more on that later).

#1. Cohesion

Cohesion helps team members find common ground and gel as a unit. It helps the team work on tasks togather, provide emotional support for each other, talk openly, and nuture trust in each other.

This leads to a culture where:

  • Healthy conversations happen – and best ideas surface
  • Better understanding of goals
  • Team works as one to achieve its goals
  • Able to overcome adversity

But what if your team is missing some of these qualities? What should you do about it?

Get started by allowing fun to flourish inside your business. Fun is an undervalued part of winning teams. Teams that have healthy and fun conversations about things like…

  • Star Wars Vs Star Trek
  • Cricket Vs Basketball
  • Madonna Vs Coldplay
  • Patrick Mahomes Vs Tom Brady

… will find it easier to have open conversations about business topics like:

  • Choosing Facebook Ads Vs Google Ads for the next campaign
  • Deciding where to open the next coworking space
  • Selecting new technology or not!

#2. Ownership

Team members who take ownership of work, prioritise it, and make sure it gets done. They’ll also feel connected to project outcomes, which means they’ll stay enaged and happy at work – qualities we want in a high performance team.

Is you team missing some of these traits? If “YES”, you need to start sowing the seeds of ownership within your team. One way to get started, is by training your team to prioritise their workloads. Rather than wait for projects to pile-up and overwhelm them, train your employees to know what to work on first (and why).

You could encourage your team to own the wins and losses of you business. Why? Well, team members want to be ‘stakeholders’ rather than ‘bums-on-seats’. Leaders who open that door, and allow their team take a stake in the busines, reap huge gains in engagement, productivity and results.

Whatever approach you choose, remember this:

A sense of ownership is crucial – without it, teams can waste precious time blaming each other, when they should be focused on moving forwards. Successful teams avoid the culture of blame, they focus on getting things done, and learning from mistakes.

#3. Healthy goals

Goals matter. Why? Because they keep the team motivated and aligned with the overall mission of the business.

If you’re sensing tension with a team member, and it feels like you’re pulling in different directions, it’s probably because your goals are competing with one another.

If your goals are out of alignment, it’s time to book a ‘Goals Meeting’ with the team member. In this meeting, goals should be discussed and agreed in a open and healthy manner.

(Aside:if you’re discussing individuals goal, you should use a coaching-led approach to goal setting.)

Goals shoulds be set for the business, the team, and the team members. In fact, it’s healthy for individuals to have work-based goals (e.g. Close 50 deals this quarter) and life-based goals such as…

  • buying a house
  • upgrading their car
  • gaining qualifications

Smart leaders help their team members see the connection between goals (more deals closed = bigger bonus = better car).

Wise leaders also ensure that individual goals are realistic, they know unrealistic goals don’t get achieved, and that when a team member fails to meet their own expectations, it can create despondency and unmotivated team members.

#4. Innovation

Businesses need to evolve with the times or risk being made irrelevant.

This is done by continually inventing new ideas, new products, and new ways to meet customers where they are today (Social Media, Phone, Driverless Cars).

Innovation may be difficult to measure, but it can have a significant impact on business growth, as much as 9.5% (over five years).

For innovation to flourish inside a business, team members must be empowered to create and try new things. To do this, the fear of failure must be removed from the business. Team members must not be reprimanded or criticised for creative thinking or trying something new.

Healthy teams have meetings where they discuss innovation. This helps the goals of the team and innovator stay in line with one another.

Incentives are a good way to reward innovators in your business. You can give bonuses, feedback and a promotion.

#5. Confidence

Healthy team members are confident in what they do and feel capable of doing anything that’s asked of them. In order for this to be the case, leaders need to show confidence in their employees. Especially when they’re wrong or make a mistake. Leaders who support & encourage team members when they stumble, are rewarded with loyal and hard working team members.

Next-level teams also attract and develop team members with different strengths, these mixed-teams support each other, teach each other, and provide a diverse pool of talent and ideas the business can draw from.

People with a healthy mindset know that they are not competing with their fellow team members. They know that they are working together to reach a shared goal. Strong team members know that being the hero of the project is not as important as the team achieving its goals.

Effective teams have a good self-image. Their self-esteem is high and they feel good about themselves. This makes them brave and willing to speak up, challenge ideas, or take on ambitious projects. They are also able to help their team grow and the business too!


Strong teams not only affect business performance. They also make an impact on how a leader and team live.

The leader of a high performance team isn’t stressed or overworked. They have a good work/life balance which give them plenty of time and freedom. These leader work on more projects they love and have time for the people they love.

Members of winning teams can afford to spend time with their families or on their hobbies. A happy team member is also happier in life. Why? Because they are more confident, capable, and able to handle the challenges that life throws at them.

In summary, successful team have specific characteristics – but they don’t just help the business win, they also help the leader and team members win in all areas of life.

If you’re looking to power up your team’s performance, you can contact us here.

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