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Leading Teams to Success in Today's Workplace

#assessments #eqfit #vitalsigns Nov 07, 2022

The challenges for teams today are more prevalent than ever. How can teams excel in the face of:

  • Increased complexity
  • Remote work
  • Uncertainty
  • Rapid change

As we enter into the time of year that most of us do our strategic planning, these challenges can easily derail our planning and keep us stuck. This is especially true when we try to plan for a team. How do you take all of these challenges into account in creating the Success Pathway for your team?

 Building Blocks

It is impossible to plan and execute a plan for all possible contingencies. If you have ever made a detailed plan you have probably experienced this. So how can we make an effective plan for a team? By starting with the building blocks that provide the foundation for success. These are:

  • Trust - The amount of trust the team has in themselves, their team members, their leadership, and in the effort. Trust is the first driver of success listed because it impacts everything in the team.
  • Execution - the team's ability to execute based on their skills, experience, equipping, and resourcing.
  • Teamwork - how effective the team collaborates and utilizes every team member in the effort.
  • Motivation - how energized the team is to achieve success.
  • Change - how well the team embraces change and is able to integrate needed changes.

Here is a model of these 5 drivers of success:

This comes out of a team assessment called Team Vital Signs. Notice that the combination of success drivers lead to specific outcomes. Example: Trust + Motivation + Change = Sustainability. Sustainability is a key outcome when looking at Strategy. This is an excellent tool to use to assess a team to gain insight and understanding in how to create the best Success Pathway for that team.


When I saw this tool the first time, something just clicked in my thought process. If we can obtain these types of measures, we can effectively identify strengths, gaps, and create a plan for future success for a team. Here is an overview of what these measures look like:

This report is very detailed and has many other measures included. For the focus today, I simply wanted to show that good data is available for team measures. Actually, think actionable data. Data that you can truly use to develop that Success Pathway that will empower the team to greater performance and success.

Step By Step

Let's go back to the 5 drivers of success and look at how each of these can enhance the performance and success of a team.

  • Trust. Trust is the currency of getting things done. The more trust is present, the fewer bottlenecks from a human interaction perspective. If you have ever seen a team with extreme high trust, they appear to be able to read each others' minds. They anticipate the needs of others. They make the effort look smooth and easy. Rarely do you see any drama or ego conflict, but you will probably see open and direct communication. The lack of crucial conversations is not the presence of trust, but the absence of trust. The higher the trust level, the more focused and effective the effort. How much psychological safety there is in the team has a massive impact on trust levels. Trust impacts every other driver of success. The pulse point for trust are transparency, coherence, and care.
  • Execution. This is the ability to do the work in an effective way. Execution requires equipping, coaching, training, resourcing, direction, and leadership to reach high performance levels. Team members who are provided these elements will be able to execute at higher levels and will be more engaged. The pulse points for execution are feedback, focus, and accountability.
  • Teamwork. Teamwork is the ability to collaborate and work together for optimal outcomes. How effective teamwork is depends on the culture of the team, the clarity of the purpose of the team, the perceived ability for each team member to communicate their ideas, and the understanding each team member has of their peers. Teamwork does not just happen, it is a process of cultivating the right culture and environment that is inclusive and focused on team success. The pulse points for teamwork are divergence, connection, and joy.
  • Motivation. Motivation is where the energy comes from to face the next challenge or take advantage of the next opportunity. Motivation comes from a very specific place in each of us...what we believe to be true about ourselves and our place in the world, the rules we make to live our life by, and the self-talk that comes out of those. This understanding can be applied to teams as well when considering motivation. What does the team believe to be true about itself and it's place, what rules does the team live by, and what is the team's self-talk. The pulse points for motivation are meaning, mastery, and autonomy.
  • Change. The willingness to embrace change (when it makes sense) is a critical success factor for teams. Projects can change. Team members can change. Circumstances can change. The ability to embrace change enhances agility and resilience, and creates a competitive advantage. Teams that have high scores in Change have developed skills and processes to manage change for better outcomes. The ability to integrate change to improve the end result is a key success factor for teams. The pulse points for change are exploration, imagination, celebration.

This is a bit of a deep dive into the drivers of team success. There is so much more that can help individuals and teams to prosper.

Next Steps

So what do we do with this?

Notice that each driver of success for teams has 3 pulse points. That is a great place to start. If you were simply to observe these pulse points, you would get a feel for the current status of the drivers of success for a specific team. It will not be as accurate a measure as having the team go through the Team Vital Signs assessment, but it will help to identify potential areas of focus to consider.

Someone recently asked me, "What is the most important thing for a team to be successful?" I struggled to answer that as you can see that there are 5 driver of success for a team. But to be fair to that person, I told him if his team was to work on only one thing to start, work on TRUST. Trust is the best place to start for any team. If you are one of the very fortunate people who have high trust in your team already, then I suggest CHANGE as the next driver of success to improve.

The reality is every team, like every individual is unique. Having a comprehensive approach to enhancing team success works for all teams, no matter their strengths and gaps.

ASSESS - EQUIP - ALIGN - SUCCEED. This is our proprietary approach to planning and accomplishing Success Pathways for individuals, teams, and organizations...and it works!

Are you interested in having your team complete the Team Vital Signs Assessment?  We would love to help your team with that.

Copyright © 2022 EQFIT® - Author: Steven Goodner All rights reserved. No portion of this material may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law. For permissions contact: [email protected]

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