21 Project Leadership Tips to Build a High-Performance Team


  1. Ask your teammates about their goals for themselves and for the team.
    1. Agree on the goals
    2. Discuss what actions they intend to take
    3. Ask how you can help
    4. Schedule a follow-up meeting
    5. Do this quarterly
  2. Share your vision and focus with the team and facilitate a discussion.
    1. Agree on the objectives to meet the goal
    2. Define measures for performance
  3. At your quarterly meeting with each team member, ask how things are going.
    1. Listen and learn
    2. Always do what you say and say what you will do
    3. Follow-up… even if the answer is “no”
  4. Inventory your knowledge of each teammate. This will reap huge benefits when the stress related to due dates hits.
  5. Tell the hard workers that they are doing good work; share specific examples.
  6. Offer to coach people who need it and provide compassionate, honest feedback. Tell them what you see and what you think it means. Ask your teammates for a suggestion for new approaches.
  7. Remember people’s birthdays. Send them a note or a card.
  8. Write notes of appreciation for special contributions people make.
  9. Gather feedback from customers and share the comments with the team.
    1. Invite a customer into a team meeting for appreciation and dialogue.
  10. Delegate your leadership responsibilities with coaching and support.
  11. Remember that there are many ways to achieve a goal and the people you delegate to may do things differently than you would. If you are concerned, ask them about their thinking on it.
  12. Be kind to yourself and others.
  13. Avoid anger–forgive–understand–stick to your values.
  14. Develop your sense of humor—laugh, care, be considerate.
  15. Remember, ultimately every team member is responsible for themselves.
  16. Be clear on the kind of role model you want to be and do your best to be it. Your behavior impacts the team more than you know.
  17. Enjoy your work and look for ways to keep getting better.
  18. Appreciate your contribution to building people, teams, and service to customers and your organization.
  19. Keep working your vision; it tends to get clearer over time.
  20. Develop a confidant with whom you can test out your ideas, share your frustrations, and get support. A true friend also knows when and how to challenge your thinking.
  21. Take 15 minutes at the beginning or end of your day to review where you have been and where you want to go.

I hope these tips help you build a high-performance team. Let me know which ones worked best for you!

James L. Haner

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