The Fabulous Four Qualities of Top Performing Teams (Part 1)

by / ⠀Startup Advice / October 27, 2011

What is it that makes certain people in a company or organization come together and accomplish extraordinary things? How can a team of people who may only be average performers individually, produce remarkable results when they work together? How do they consistently exceed expectations every year and have the audacity to set even higher goals, all while having fun as they work?

Throughout my training experiences and discussions with thousands of supervisors, managers, directors and senior executives, I have realized that there are four things these workplace winners have in common: Shared Purpose, Open Communication, Trust and an Innovative Mentality.

Some organizations are completely blind to the fact that they don’t have teams, they have groups. The main difference between a group and a team is that a group is just a collection of individuals who are only looking out for their self interest. They only care about their individual goals, promotion, salary etc.. A team consists of individuals who understand that none of us is greater than all of us and they genuinely care about each other and know they can only grow and win, when they help their team members grow and win.

The Fabulous Four Qualities listed below will help your team grow to the next level and eventually become a top performing team:

1. Shared Purpose:

– Every team member knows the vision, mission, goals of the team and the overall organization.

– Each team member knows why their work, tasks, duties and contribution matters, and how it impacts the entire team and organization.

– Each team member knows their role, responsibilities, what they’re accountable for, and no matter how small their role, it is equally celebrated, valued and respected by the team.

2. Open Communication:

– Each team member feels as though they can freely share ideas, opinions and potential solutions to the team without fear or being ridiculed.

– High performing teams have feedback forums (meetings, social gatherings etc…) where feedback on performance, ideas, needs for assistance are communicated.

3. Trust:

– High performing teams consistently do what they say, and they hold every team member accountable to the same standard.

– Each team member shares personal interest and goals. (They become like extended family)

4. Innovative Mentality:

– Each team member has an innovative mentality, which means they relentlessly see or do things in a new or more effective way.

– Top performing teams have no comfort zone. Members of teams with comfort zones say things such as “if ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Top performing teams understand that a comfort zone in today’s rapidly changing economy means laid-off, outsourced or downsized. Instead, their mentality is “if ain’t broke don’t fix it, unless you can make it better!”

– Top performing teams have innovative sessions, where they meet frequently to discuss how to improve the product, service, programs, reports, equipment, etc… They dedicate entire meetings to just thinking about better methods and improving things.

It’s no secret that top performing teams go from ordinary to extraordinary by doing certain things and having specific qualities. It may take some time, but your team can accomplish it.

In part 2, we will discuss the particular phases of team development and what leaders must do to make sure their team successfully graduates from each phase.

James Bird Guess is a performance coach and noted authority on change, leadership and small business. He went from homeless to successful boot-strapping entrepreneur, to a world-renowned speaker and trainer. Over 20,000 management leaders, small businesses and universities have relied on James to bring the best out of people in the workplace, grow their business in any economy, and develop innovative leaders. James is also the best-selling author of the book, How I Made a Quarter Million Dollar$ From the Trunk of My Car, and founder of JBG International Success Academy, a personal development training and research company. He can be reached at

Related Post: 10 Qualities of a Successful Entrepreneur

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.