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    Are You Proud of Your Team?

    Are you proud of your team? I mean really proud of your team? Executives often talk about how great their people are and even share they have the best fill-in-the-blank — finance, sales, marketing, operations….

    It’s nice to hear, but do their words really reflect the benchmark of what good looks like in their industry? Or are they just the best in their company? There can be a big difference.

    We’ve grown from a small office products company to a leading full-service technology enterprise. It didn’t happen by having marginal people or even people performing slightly above average. It takes high performers.

    You know you have the best people when…

    • Your performance shows it.
      Top performers drive financial performance. You cannot be a high-performing company with even average performers. The math just doesn’t work.

    • They make difficult decisions.
      And they do it consistently. No matter their age or role, the best leaders can step up and make the tough decisions. They do it under pressure and in a timely manner while managing their emotions. (We’ll talk more about this in next week’s Let’s Tech podcast.)

    • All bases are covered.
      You cannot just have the best people in a few key areas. It’s essential to have them in all of the core areas – from marketing and sales to finance and operations. There cannot be any weak areas. Football teams don’t just win with a star quarterback. They need a team of star players. The same is true in business.

    How do you upgrade your team?

    I’m often asked what it takes to attract top performers. It requires a culture that supports people of that caliber. We may not have the annual draft to secure top recruits each year in business. But we do have the tools to upgrade our teams — and we can do it at any point. The best time is now.

    • Make room for high performers.
      Just like on sports teams, that may mean you need to let go of two people to gain one. That one person can elevate the entire team.

    • Put the best at the top.
      A common mistake that I see organizations make is hiring a top performer and then having that person report to someone who’s not as good. It won’t work. Leaders have to be bold enough to adjust reporting structure to put the best at the top.

    • Mentor people to their highest potential.
      Anyone can mentor someone to medium. Great leaders mentor people to higher levels. This should go beyond their functional areas to create leaders astute in all aspects of the business.

    • Make the investment.
      Money. Real money. Good people should make the most money. Is that the case in your organization? This is where many organizations fall flat and say they cannot afford it. The fact is their resources are paying for underperformers. They could let go of two and invest in one high performer. Compensate them well — even earlier than you need to — and you will see a return.

    When you look around the table, can you confidently say that you’re really proud of each of your team members? Are they the best in the industry? Or just in your company? If it’s the latter, consider making an upgrade. It’s the only way to truly achieve and sustain high performance as an organization.

    We'll be talking about making difficult decisions and role of trust in an upcoming episode of our Let’s Tech podcast. Subscribe today so you don't miss it. Check out past episodes and learn more at

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    Topics: Leadership Team