There’s a lot of buzz lately about creating and leading High Performing Teams. Rightfully so. High Performing Teams are a key differentiator for leading companies, maintaining high retention, and achieving outstanding employee culture and morale.
Just ask the military or anyone who has played football, it is not about the organization, it is about the team and the person next to you. It is the confidence that your leader and team members will be there when you need them. You will not let them down because they will not let you down. Anyone that has relied on a team for success will tell you the 4 most important words they want to hear - “I’ve got your back”. This applies the same in business. If you want a High Performing Team, make sure the team members know you have their back. This goes for the team, but even more so for the leader. It starts with trust and trust must be earned. So how do you gain trust? Three steps (I did not say it would be easy). Serve your employees You must demonstrate to your employees that you support them in what they do. Make sure they have the tools and resources to be successful. Spend quality time with them. Everyone wants to know that their boss listens and cares. Let them know it is okay to fail and you will still have their backs. If they do fail at something, pick them up and keep going. Turn them loose! It is amazing what employees can accomplish when you turn them loose. I love giving a sharp team of people a goal and watch them crush it. They are much smarter, more creative, and better than we give them credit for. I let them know what the boundaries are for getting me involved and keeping me updated and then let them fly. Stand up for the team!
Nothing sends a more powerful message to the other team members than when the leader demonstrates they have your back. It does not have to occur often, but they do need to see that leadership is willing and capable. It could be pushing back on a demanding client, standing up for the department, implementing a new process the team came up with, or even as simple as recognition for a job well done. Once employees know you have their back, they will have yours. It is cultural and spreads like wildfire. They will do everything in their power for you to be successful. They are no longer afraid of open communication, creative ideas, or taking risks to make things better. They will trust you and themselves to succeed. It all starts with the 4 most important words – “I’ve got your back”.