For performance-based teams, growth, efficiency and profitability are not just goals — they’re absolute necessities. Wondering what it takes to lead a team like that? Here are a few must-have qualities.

Performance-based teams are lean, effective and crazy profitable. Not only do the leaders enjoy a higher bottom line, they also average far fewer hours worked than their counterparts. Effective and efficient, these groups tend to outshine the competition. 

We have found five qualities these leaders have in common — two of which they are born with, and have to learn how to channel and harness. The other three are learned and implemented. 

They were born with a performance-based drive

Performance-based teams leaders think, eat and breathe growth. For them, growth is addictive. This drive for excellence can show itself in the spiritual, physical, financial, intellectual or any other area of life. 

One thing is for certain — it does always show itself. Making things happen is imprinted in these leaders’ DNA and rooted in their mindset.

They create an interconnected team

Performance-based teams are interconnected. They rely on and support one another. Each person is recognized for his or her strengths and unique contribution. They also work together in a synergistic fashion. 

They orient themselves from a place of purpose

There is a place and time to talk about vision, mission, strategies, plans and tactics. But the “why” of what we do comes before all of that. It’s in this core purpose where we connect with our deeply emotional drive.

This can’t be just shared in platitudes or reduced to words printed on a poster. It’s only effectively shared through storytelling. It’s how leaders can share the power of purpose with the rest of the team.

They develop their team with real-world training

Performance-based teams create a training culture with role-playing at its core. Top performers need to be tested. Real-world rehearsals lead to real-world results. These teams role-play in group settings where feedback is welcomed and appreciated.

Critique should be caring and direct. It’s not about competition — it’s about coaching, practicing and growing. Performance-oriented teams skip the theoretical, manual-based education. They choose to embrace an experiential and very tactile training style.

They have a special energy and focus

In my experience, great leadership is 80 percent DNA and 20 percent learned skill. To lead a performance-based team, the leader needs to be able to do so by example. The leaders set the tone and pace. They need to be the portrait of their team’s vitality, not a mirror of it.

Every leader has their own special brand of energy and focus. They use this internal resource to influence the team’s momentum in positive ways. They create growth regardless of what’s happening in the world around them.

Performance-based team leaders harness these five attributes. They invest their time and resources to create a high-performance team. They use their inherent drive, energy and focus to inspire and lead from the front.

These leaders create a purpose-filled and interconnected team. They engage each member in pragmatic, real-world training. For these teams, growth is not a goal or aspiration. It’s a necessity. Excellence shows its imprint on the team’s very DNA.

Chris Pollinger, partner, Berman & Pollinger LLC, is a senior sales and operational executive skilled in strategic leadership, culture building, business planning, sales, marketing, acquisitions, operations, recruiting and team building. 

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