How to lead a team to peak performance

As an executive coach, one of the most common questions I get asked is “How do I get my team to perform at their full potential?” Well, if you buy into the theory that potential is the gap between current reality and future possibility, then the questions really is…what’s possible!

The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible.” – Arthur C. Clarke

There are countless examples of people pushing beyond their limitations and accomplishing the seemingly impossible. Here are just a few:

  • Roger Banister – First man to run a mile in less than 4 minutes.

  • Henry Ford – First man to mass produce the automobile.

  • Kristin Bass – First female F-16 fighter pilot.

  • Lucy Walker – First woman to successfully climb the Matterhorn in Switzerland.

  • Henry Sullivan – First American to swim across the English Channel.

  • Charles Lindbergh – First man to fly solo across the Atlantic.

  • Neil Armstrong – First man to walk on the moon.

I could go on, but you get the point. As leaders, it is our duty and responsibility to cast a vision for our people of “what’s possible” for them. Their limitations are self-imposed, therefore it is up to us to help them overcome those limiting beliefs about their own capabilities. Here are 3 key motivators that will help push your people beyond their limitations to reach peak performance.

  1. Rewards – The old carrot-on-a-stick method is still an effective one. However, monetary compensation is not the only reward people will aspire to achieve. Studies have shown that the millennial generation for example, would rather have time off as opposed to a cash bonus as a reward for achievement. Make sure that your rewards are relevant to the desire of your people.

  2. Recognition – Babies cry for it and men will die for it. Recognition continues to be the most powerful form of motivation with people. By creating a culture within your organization where people are recognized and praised for peak performance, you create an environment where your people will strive to “be in the spotlight”. There is something powerful about recognizing someone’s performance in front of their peers…it becomes contagious!

  3. Relationships – I have always felt that, as a leader you can never ask for a commitment that is greater than the relationship. If you build meaningful relationships with your people, you will have then earned the right to ask them for their absolute best effort. When you have a team of people who will go above and beyond to make you look good as their leader, you will be amazed at what they can accomplish on their own accord.

The next time you find yourself questioning the effort of your team, evaluate the 3 R’s and see where you can improve to create an environment where the impossible becomes the possible!

To Your Success,

Bryan Caison

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