How to build high-performing teams (and measure their success)

Welcome to our fortnightly update of all the latest articles on leadership and high-performance teams.

This week we take a closer look at establishing and maintaining high-performing teams. As the first two articles this week discuss, building high-performing teams takes much more than just individual talent and good relationships. This is a challenge that we see regularly in our consulting work – with huge implications for team and organisational performance

As always, I’m interested to know what you took away from this week’s articles. Let me know by replying to this email.

Kind regards,

High performing teams require more than just good relationships
Although most people form positive relationships at work, many teams still under-perform. An interesting look at why building great teams takes much more than just building great relationships between the people in those teams. (Human Capital Exchange)

Building high performance teams takes more than talent
In today’s increasingly networked workplace, talent doesn’t guarantee success. This piece outlines some common talent issues that hinder the ability to build high-performance teams. (Forbes)

Managing performance when it’s hard to measure
Organisations have long struggled to accurately measure the performance of all employees. The process can be highly subjective, which is why Red Hat has developed a simpler, more flexible approach to performance reviews. (Harvard Business Review)

Practice makes perfect
Two out of three first-time leaders felt unprepared for their new job. This presents a unique opportunity for HR in preparing the next generation of organisational talent. (Human Resources Executive Online)

The $112 billion CEO succession problem
Failed CEO succession is usually a result of boards allowing succession planning to fall off the regular agenda. This article covers four recommendations to help make succession planning sustainable. (Strategy + Business)

8 habits of highly accountable people
Many people struggle with the definition of accountability versus responsibility. Here are 8 of the habits that accountable people uniquely choose to make a part of their everyday life.

Want to get the best out of yourself and drive results through others? Take a look at our leadership programs.

The Importance of having EQ on your team

Welcome to our fortnightly update of all the latest articles on leadership and high-performance teams.

Emotional intelligence is one of the biggest differentiators between outstanding leaders and merely average ones. In this edition, I’ve included a selection of articles that look at the importance of EQ in a team environment, as well as ways to handle emotional outbursts on your team.

What did you think of this fortnight’s articles? Let me know by replying to this email.

Kind regards,

How to look for emotional intelligence on your team
EQ is much more difficult to assess than IQ and experience. This article gives an overview of how you can measure EQ in working adults, by looking at general traits and specific behaviours. (Harvard Business Review)

Handling emotional outbursts on your team
Don’t let emotional outbursts hijack your team, as they can stall productivity and limit innovation. The most productive team leaders treat emotional outbursts as what they are: just another form of communication (albeit loaded with motives, values and beliefs). (Harvard Business Review)

Tapping into high-potentials: Programs guiding female talent to the top
Innovative companies are investing in promising female employees with the goal of shaping future leaders. Royal Bank of Canada and Novatis Pharma AG are selecting women for high potential programs, giving them more visibility and exposure to leaders and executives. (Women of Influence)

How to make your employees more engaged and productive
We all want our teams to be more engaged and productive. Investing in collaborative technology, providing autonomy and keeping teams smaller are just a few things that organisations can do to achieve this. (The future organisation)

How positivity makes you healthy and successful
The greater the challenge, the harder “staying positive” can be, especially when our brains are hard-wired to look for threats. This article focuses on two simple steps to train your brain to focus on the positive. (LinkedIn)

What to do if your team is letting you down
Holding people accountable is important for getting the results you want, but expectations must be clearly communicated. Defining exactly what you want can sometimes be the hardest step. (Harvard Business Review)

Want to get the best out of yourself and drive results through others? Take a look at our leadership programs.

Key challenges in building a high-performance leadership team

Welcome to our fortnightly update of all the latest articles on leadership and high-performance teams.

Building a high-performance leadership team is critical for sustained business success. But as I’m sure you know well, doing so is not without its challenges.

This edition we look at some of the specific challenges associated with building a high-performing leadership team, including transitioning leaders into the C-suite and maintaining a sustainable leadership pipeline.

I’d love to hear what’s captured your attention this fortnight – you can reach me by replying to this email.

Kind regards,


Ascending to the C-suite
Nearly one-third of new executives fail to meet overall objectives for their new C-level role. Executives reporting the most successful transitions focus on communicating priorities, valuing their team and spending time on culture. (McKinsey)

Are you prepared for the leadership gap?
New research reveals that only 11% of employees aspire to C-level positions. As millions of baby boomers get ready to retire, this presents real challenges for leadership succession. This article lists some suggestions to help close the leadership gap at your organisation. (CIO)

How to build a successful management team
Chris Curtin has run large global teams at Disney, HP and Visa. He has a great two-point ‘investment strategy’ whether you’re building a high-performance team or starting a new company – invest in health and people smarter than you. (Fortune) 

Forget the vision, make the connections
New leaders usually have two priorities – how best to allocate financial resources and how best to allocate human resources. Mindy Hall says they’re skipping a key first step – making meaningful connections. (Strategy + Business)

How to refocus a meeting after someone interrupts
Dealing with interrupters during a meeting can be challenging, and can lead to wasted time and productivity. Handle the frustrating situation by going in with an agenda and redirecting the conversation to the purpose of the meeting. (Harvard Business Review)

Why smaller teams are better than larger ones
Smaller teams tend to work better together than their larger counterparts, for a number of reasons. Help your team to avoid these traps whilst keeping them accountable, productive and engaged. (Forbes)

Recruiting for high-performing teams – how Google does it

Welcome to our fortnightly update of all the latest articles on leadership and high-performance teams.

In this edition we look at recruiting for high-performance, with some great insights from Google’s head of HR, Lazlo Bock. In the first article below Lazlo talks to Fast Company about recruiting for ‘Googleyness’ and freedom.

Context is also all-important when identifying and hiring high-performers. The second article explains how you first need to define what ‘high-performance’ means to your company before seeking the ideal candidates.

Let me know what’s got you thinking this week this week by replying to this email.

Kind regards,

Google’s head of HR shares his secrets
The recruitment process at Google is more selective than Harvard, Yale or Princeton. Find out how Lazlo Bock cuts two million applications down to just several thousand. (Fast Company)

Hiring top performers decoded
People that were high-performers in their last company won’t necessarily be high-performers in yours. It all starts by defining what top performance means in your organisation. (People Matters)

What great managers do to engage employees
Managers account for as much as 70% of variance in employee engagement scores. This article discusses the recent research by Gallup, which identified the managerial behaviours that are most strongly linked to employee engagement. (Harvard Business Review)

Leaders win trust when they show a bit of humanity
New survey results reveal that trust in leadership is at an all time low. Here are three suggestions for winning the trust and respect of your team. (Harvard Business Review)

12 signs a company doesn’t trust its employees
If you trust your employees you’ll do a better job of retaining them, maintaining high levels of productivity and attracting new talent. Companies who trust their employees avoid doing these 12 things… (LinkedIn)

Maximising innovation with diversity
Diversity within teams can increase innovation – but diversity across teams could unlock even more creativity. The key here is keeping an eye on the bigger picture when building your teams. (INSEAD)

Want to get the best out of yourself and drive results through others? Take a look at our leadership programs.


Are the personalities in your team driving success?

Welcome to our fortnightly update of all the latest articles on leadership and high-performance teams.

As a leader, your personality directly affects the culture and performance of your team (a topic explored in my Influential Leadership program). Likewise, building a team according to personalities can prevent tension. This works to increase productivity further down the line.

The featured articles this week look at the impact of personality on leadership and high-performance teams. If you’ve had personalities affect performance in your team, let me know by replying to this email.

Kind regards,

Personality tests can help balance a team
Selecting team members based on their personality, soft skills, and values may help to reduce tension in the workplace. Many organisations are now using personality profiling to build their teams (and I don’t mean Myers Briggs). (Harvard Business Review)

A culture of personality
New research reveals that CEO personality and corporate culture are strongly linked. Certain personality types are associated with a range of positive outcomes, providing insights into how a CEO’s personality can rub off onto their employees. (Strategy + Business)

The science of reading your co-workers personalities
Some of us are better at reading and reacting to personality than others. Psychologist John D. Mayer calls this ability Personal Intelligence. Personal intelligence helps us communicate better with others and make better choices at work. (Fast Company)

Inside Google’s insanely popular emotional-intelligence course
There are thousands on the waiting list for Google’s Search Inside Yourself training course. Chade-Meng Tan is the engineer-come-self-help-guru that’s behind the course. He describes it as a leadership program that uses the tools of mindfulness and emotional intelligence. (Fast Company)

Do your training efforts drive performance?
Organisations around the world are struggling to measure the impact of training programs on business performance. HR and learning specialists need to take accountability to integrate L&D with overall talent management. (McKinsey)

Why your board needs performance management too
Board-level performance management is the focus of an increasing number of studies. Performance management for boards appears to drive great results for both the organisation and its shareholders. (Cognology)

Want to get the best out of yourself and drive results through others? Take a look at our leadership programs.


Gender balance as a strategic opportunity

Welcome to our fortnightly update of all the latest articles on leadership and high-performance teams.

I’ve always believed that when gender balance is seen as a strategic opportunity, true workplace diversity will quickly follow. Two articles I’ve come across this week look at gender biases and barriers – and how they can be tackled. The articles agree (as do I) that the answer lies in leadership accountability and highlighting the positive outcomes of diversity.

Please reply to this email if you have any comments or questions.

Kind regards,

Tackle bias in your company without making people defensive
The fact that all humans are biased to some degree is well researched, but most people don’t take well to accusations of bias. The key is positioning gender balance as an opportunity, not a problem. (Harvard Business Review)

How women leaders are challenging male-dominated industries
Despite the lack of female leaders in Fortune 500 companies, some women outliers are making waves in the tech and mining industries. Leaders (both male and female) need to take accountability to influence gender balance. (Fast Company)

Team leaders need better data, faster
Performance and engagement tools need to be designed for team leaders – not the organisation. If team leaders have access to real-time data they will be able to improve performance and engagement much more effectively. (Harvard Business Review)

Leaders need to be accountable for culture and engagement
The Global Human Capital Trends 2015 study finds that culture and engagement is the most important problem that companies face worldwide. Organisations need to hold their leaders accountable for building a sustainable culture and engaging and retaining their teams. (Deloitte University Press)

Four keys to high-performance succession management
How many leadership roles in your organisation are without ‘ready-now’ successors? Establishing a high-performance succession management process is crucial to the future success of the business. This article proposes four must-read recommendations. (Human Resource Executive Online)

The holy grail of performance management?
If you’re not already using thePerformance vs. Potential matrix (or 9-box grid) this writer has a convincing argument for you. By giving you a multi-dimensional view of your workforce, the matrix allows performance management to have a bigger impact on business strategy. (Fistful of Talent)

Want to get the best out of yourself and drive results through others? Take a look at our leadership programs.

How to increase productivity | Sign up for our Women’s Career Advancement program

Welcome to our fortnightly update of all the latest articles on leadership and high-performance teams.

This week our recommended articles focus on productivity, including how it can help drive a culture of leadership accountability. And on the same topic, it seems some companies may have finally found a solution to unproductive meetings.

Join our Women’s Career Advancement program 

Before we take a look at this week’s articles, I’d like to invite you (and your team) to explore our intensive 6-month Women’s Career Advancement program. Commencing on April 19th, the program gives you all the tools you need to accelerate your career. Watch our video to find out more

If you have any questions around productivity or our Women’s Career Advancement program simply reply to this email.

Kind regards,


The four keys to managing a happy, productive team
Harvard’s Tessa Amabile conducted a study by giving office workers diaries then analysing the content. The findings teach us some interesting lessons around motivation and creativity. (The Week)

Inside the psychology of productivity
“Productivity, or at least how productive you consider yourself, is surprisingly subjective.” No matter how your brain may trick yourself into feeling more effective, here are four ways you can ensure you make the most of your day. (Inc.)

Creating a culture of leadership accountability
Leadership behaviours are critical to driving future success. That’s why ineffective leadership behaviours need to be detected early. This article discusses how you can drive a culture of accountable leadership by encouraging self-awareness and productivity. (Human Resource Executive Online)

Why smart companies are doing away with meetings as we know them
The average employee spends about 31 hours a month in meetings, but considers at least half of them a complete waste of time. Many companies are actually functioning without meetings or at least making them optional. (The Muse)

New Partners in Leadership research links organisational underperformance with rampant employee confusion
New research reveals that only 15% of organisations say that their “key results” are defined in a way that employees can easily understand. This leads to widespread confusion and underperformance. (Virtual Strategy Magazine)

Is your employee coachable?
While every manager should have the ability to coach, they also need to be able to recognise when coaching isn’t working. “Coachability” requires potential and commitment from your direct report. (Harvard Business Review)

Want to get the best out of yourself and drive results through others? Take a look at our leadership programs.


How to build high-performance teams (without risking burnout)

Welcome to our fortnightly update of all the latest articles on leadership and high-performance teams.

As I’m sure you know from experience, building a high-performing team can be tough. The articles I’ve included this week focus on the practical creation and management of these teams. We look at research that highlights the importance of balanced contributions, emotional intelligence and diversity.

Let me know what you think by replying to this email. I’ll address any interesting thoughts or comments in next week’s newsletter.

Kind regards,

Why some teams are smarter than others
This interesting study found that some teams consistently performed better than others. The smartest teams were distinguished by three characteristics – equal contribution, emotional intelligence and teams with more women. (The New York Times)

How do you build a high-performance organisation?
Creating a high-performance organisation starts by coming up with your own definition of what you want to achieve. This article argues that high-performance organisations do four things exceedingly well. (Great Leaders Serve)

How to spot future leaders
All too often, employees are rated on their job competency rather than their leadership potential. Here are some clues that you should focus on to recognise employees with the best leadership potential. (Fast Company)

A better way to measure employee success
Older performance management methods need to be modernised to motivate today’s staff. The best approach is a program that builds on your organisation’s long-term vision. (Inc.)

Long hours lead to lower productivity
Recent research finds that excessive working hours are unproductive and unhealthy, and even have negative effects on your bottom line. Employee output falls sharply after 50 hours a week, becoming basically non-existent after 55 hours. (Human Resource Executive Online)

Australian managers, this is your 360-performance review
This article presents new data that suggests that there’s a large gap between Australian management’s potential and what’s being achieved right now. (Cognology)

Want to get the best out of yourself and drive results through others? Take a look at our leadership programs.

Is there a simple way to get more women into leadership?

Welcome to our fortnightly update of all the latest articles on leadership and high-performance teams.

The career advancement of women is a subject that is rightfully gaining more and more business attention. This week I’d like to share with you a particularly interesting piece from the World Economic Forum. It suggests that increasing female representation within the world’s leadership teams may be simpler than we think.

As always, I love to hear your opinions so please reply to this email with any thoughts or comments.

Kind regards,


One simple way to get more women into leadership
According to the Global Gender Gap Report, we will close the employee economic gender gap in about 80 years time. This author argues for a very simple potential solution. (Agenda)

Why diversity matters
New research by McKinsey makes it increasingly clear why diversity is important. The study finds that companies in the top quartile for diversity are more likely to financially outperform than those in the bottom quartile. (McKinsey) 

10 ways to retain great employees
Research shows that the top 5% of employees produce 26% of an organisations total output. While top employees are hard to keep, there are things that managers can do to reduce the chances of losing their best employees. (

6 ways CEOs can stay accountable
Building a framework of accountability will ensure that you will stay on track with projects, goals and the vision for your company. This article lists 6 steps to help increase your accountability. (Entrepreneur)

Being experienced doesn’t automatically make you a good mentor
There can actually be a liability of experience when it comes to coaching or mentoring. Coaches need to be aware of how their own experience might actually hold others back. (Harvard Business Review)

Transactional or transformational – which leadership style is best?
Researchers have found that there are two distinct types of leadership – transactional and transformational. The report found a strong relationship between transformational leadership and job satisfaction amongst employees. (Switch & Shift)

Want to get the best out of yourself and drive results through others? Take a look at our leadership programs.

Retaining your high performers in an unstable job market

Welcome to our fortnightly update of all the latest articles on leadership and high-performance teams.

This week I’ve included some focused articles on retaining key staff in 2015. Recent research has found that many employees are starting to think about moving jobs in 2015. As a result, it’s essential that you’re ahead of the curve in thinking about ways to engage high performers.

As always, any feedback on the articles is very welcome. What strategies are you putting in place to retain key staff this year?

Kind Regards,

Hit the ground running in 2015 – book a team Planning Day
Define objectives, set priorities and get everyone more than a little excited about the possibilities ahead in the New Year. Give your team the edge in 2015 with a comprehensive team Planning Day. Contact us on (02) 9239 5081 or for details.


Employee engagement depends on what happens outside of the office
New research has revealed that many of the root causes of employee engagement may actually be found outside of the workplace. (Harvard Business Review)

Prevent your star performers from losing passion
Ignoring executives who operate in a silent state of continual overload can lead to toxic effects. This article discusses a solution to retain high performers and keep them from burning out. (Harvard Business Review)

More than 1 in 3 employees will look for a new job in 2015 if they do not receive a pay raise
This Glassdoor employment confidence survey reveals that 35% of employees will leave their jobs if they do not get a pay rise in 2015. The 2015 job market is likely to see some movement, with job market confidence reaching new highs. (Glassdoor)

Retaining high performers in 2015
The task of retaining staff this year is likely to be more difficult, with many employees planning to move jobs in 2015. This article details some of the actions that you can take to keep your top performers. (HR Review)

Speaking while female
When a woman speaks in a professional setting, she’s either barely heard or she’s judged as being too aggressive. Businesses need to find ways to interrupt this gender bias and encourage women to be heard in the workplace. (New York Times)

Forget Myers-Briggs: To Build a Great Team, Focus on ‘Factor C’
Recent research has revealed that the “collective IQ” of a group can predict team performance. This “Factor C” method predicts team performance better than traditional measures of individual intelligence. (LinkedIn)

Want to get the best out of yourself and drive results through others? Take a look at our leadership programs.