How to Achieve Top Performance from Your Team

One of the first things I learned as a leader is that anybody can talk a good game, but delivering results is what counts. I’ve been burned a time or two by placing too much faith in a new hire’s résumé or allowing a team member to substitute vision for strategy.

To get good results, you must manage toward that goal.

Here are five tips for getting your team to perform at a high level.

  1. Delegate Outcomes, not Tasks

Giving someone a task defines what he or she should do. Delegating an outcome defines the result. When you enlist others to get part of the job done, be sure to give them a clear picture of the expected result, not simply a list of steps to perform.

  1. Determine the Specific Evidence of Achievement

You know that every goal should measurable, time-bound, and specific. The same applies to everything you ask others to do for your organization. Fuzzy expectations like “do a good job” or “make it shine” produce fuzzy results. Specific expectations produce bankable results: “We’re looking for a 4 percent increase in online sales this quarter.”

  1. Provide Adequate Resources

Many leaders have taken a page from the Pharaoh school of management: they want bricks without straw. To make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs. Count the cost of your outcome in dollars, staff time, and material support.

  1. Evaluate Results

If you don’t care whether your team wins, then there’s no need to keep score.  But if you’re interested in success, you’ll need to evaluate your team’s performance.  It will help you to improve.  Did we reach our goal?  What could have been done better?  How will we avoid making the same mistake next time?  What can I do to improve results?  Ask these questions regularly, and you’ll build a winning team.

  1. Reward Performance

When your team has a victory, celebrate! Point out the contribution of each member. Let them know how important they are to the whole. Never let a milestone go by unnoticed. Find a reason to cheer. Celebrating wins will energize your team.

Great results don’t just happen. Great leaders shape them. Pour your energy into others, and they’ll pour their energy into the mission.

What’s your best tip for helping a team achieve? Share your answer on Twitter or Facebook!