Ten Practical Leadership Models for High Performing Teams: A Leadership Playbook

Summary

Practical Leadership Models summarise the essential practicalities of key management topics in 60 seconds so you can immediately apply them.

Focus

The models in this document address the key management topic of creating and operating High Performing Teams covering the following aspects:

  • Team Health Check/Assessment
  • Team Setup/Foundations
  • Team Leadership
  • Virtual Teams
  • Team Development

Contents

Model #1: 7 Habits of Highly Successful Team Leaders

Aspect

Operational Team Leadership

Why and When do you need this Model

The 7 Habits model helps you successfully juggle the multiple dimensions which ensure a team stays ambitious, motivated, learning, supportive and performing. Without such a model, especially when you find yourself under pressure as a leader, it is likely you will fixate on a couple of the more urgent dimensions but neglect the others. You may deliver your project but destabilise your team and damage your reputation as a team leader!

The Bare Essentials

Effective team leaders manage the team individuals as:

  • People
  • Professionals
  • Colleagues (team members)

They also support and manage the whole team’s:

  • Workload
  • Energy Levels
  • Customers
  • Practices

Figure A

Model #2: Racetrack Integrated Model of High Performing Teams

Aspect

Team Setup and Team Development

Why and When do you need this Model

The Racetrack Model is a simple sustainable model for setting up any team for success. It recognises that creating a team is a hybrid project which requires you to concurrently do both Change Management and Process Development.

The Bare Essentials

Sustainable teams address the unique change issues of each team member:

  • Insight & Relationships
  • Understanding & Influencing
  • Commitment
  • Support & Development

Whilst they also address the process fundamentals of the whole team:

  • Communications
  • Meetings
  • Alignment & Accountability
  • Support & Systems

Figure B

Model #3: 7 Common Mistakes Teams make Under Pressure

Aspect

Team Assessment and Team Development

Why and When do you need this Model

The 7 Most Common Mistakes model provides a simple checklist you can use to perform a quick health check on any team.

The Bare Essentials

The 7 mistakes are:

  1. Poor Time Management
  2. Avoidable Operational Errors
  3. Mismanagement of Information
  4. Not reviewing or learning from previous mistakes
  5. Having a plan but not following it
  6. Poor division of labour (e.g. no roles)
  7. No Ground rules (e.g. No agreed values or not following agreed values)

Figure C

Model #4: RAPPORT Model of Project Team Set-up

Aspect

Team Setup

Why and When do you need this Model

The RAPPORT Model is a useful acronym of the fundamental foundations needed to set up your teams for success for key projects or programmes.

The Bare Essentials

The RAPPORT model suggests 7 things you need to do:

  1. Roles
  2. Agreements
  3. Processes or Practices
  4. Priorities
  5. Organisational Values
  6. Results
  7. Targets

Figure D

Model #5: Spinning Top Model - 4 Dysfunctional Team Stereotypes

Aspect

Team Assessment and Team Development

Why and When do you need this Model

It is very easy to have a team which is nearly working or a team which was working but has stopped working. The 4 Stereotypes Model gives you a quick way to diagnose what might be missing in a team.

The Bare Essentials

Effective teams are like spinning tops it is all about balance! Two key aspects which need to be in balance are Team Communications and Team Role Clarity. In either case too much or too little of each can put a team off balance. The model identifies 4 stereotypes of teams which are out of balance. Teams may also regress or flip flop between stereotypes under pressure! Spotting elements of a stereotype in a team is the first step in helping you get it back into balance.

Figure E

Model #6: Martini Model of Effective Virtual Teams

Aspect

Virtual Team Development

Why and When do you need this Model

The Martini model (anytime anyplace anywhere) helps you design for different virtual team scenarios.

The Bare Essentials

  1. Same Time - Same Place: The traditional team co located and synchronous.
  2. Same Time - Any Place: Different locations without big time zone differences. As well as virtual meetings teams may be distracted by matrix structures and pressures of local urgencies.
  3. Same Time - Any Place Any Culture: These teams may also have to deal with cultural differences. Team members/leaders may behave in ways unfamiliar/uncomfortable to their virtual colleagues.
  4. Any Time - Any Place: The most challenging type of virtual team working across locations, cultures and time zones. These teams must also communicate mostly via asynchronous messaging with synchronous meetings limited to the overlap in their working day.

Figure F

Model #7: 7 Team Decision-Making Methods

Aspect

Team Operations

Why and When do you need this Model

The way a team ‘decides to decide’ is the most important decision it will ever make. However in many teams this decision is never explicitly made or, even worse, it is assumed that there is only one team decision making method which applies equally well in all situations.

The Bare Essentials

The 7 decision making methods are:

  1. Consensus
  2. Majority Rule
  3. Minority Rule (sub committee)
  4. Averaging
  5. Expert Rule
  6. Authority Rule without Discussion
  7. Authority Rule with Discussion

At the beginning of the meeting, the team leader should propose and gain agreement on the decision making method.

Model #8: 4 Types of Team Meeting and 5 Key Meeting Roles

Aspect

Team Operations

Why and When do you need this Model

There are two absolute essentials for successful meetings knowing what type of meeting you need to have and ensuring that participants play the right roles for that type of meeting to work.

The Bare Essentials

The 4 Types of meeting are:

  • Operational Meetings
  • Strategy Meetings
  • Problem Solving Meetings
  • Relationship Meetings

The 5 Key Meeting Roles are:

  • Customer
  • Facilitator
  • Timekeeper
  • Scribe
  • Sensor

Figure G

Model #9: 4 Models of Teamwork Top Performing Teams Exploit

Aspect

Team Development

Why and When do you need this Model

The 4 Modes of Teamwork, based on research into nature’s teams, is a useful model for developing a team towards its potential by smashing the myth that one size of teamwork fits all tasks.

The Bare Essentials

There are 4 different "time task" modes teams can use for any job:

  • Groupwork: (Partitioned tasks) lends itself to asynchronous or sequential work such as email or document collaboration.
  • Crowdwork: (Group tasks) has a place in teams for review meetings, brainstorming and social gatherings. Can also indicate poor role definition or poor use of resources!
  • Solowork: (Individual tasks) is an important aspect of team behaviour and sometimes the best way to get things done (e.g. expert work).
  • “Teamwork”: (Team tasks) requires multiple individuals to perform different tasks concurrently This is the most complex form of teamwork but is only needed for certain tasks those requiring division of labour and concurrency.

Figure H

Model #10: Bioteams Model: High Performance Base on Nature's Teams

Aspect

Team Development

Why and When do you need this Model

The Bioteams model is a great way to inspire a team to start learning again if it has gone stale or has reached a plateau in its performance.

The Bare Essentials

There are 4 Bioteams Zones and 12 Bioteams Rules

  • Leadership Zone - Rule 1: Stop Controlling, Rule 2: Team Intelligence, Rule 3: Permission Granted
  • Connection Zone - Rule 4: Always On, Rule 5: Symbiosis, Rule 6. Cluster
  • Execution Zone - Rule 7: Swarm!, Rule 8: Tit for Tat, Rule 9: Genetic Algorithms
  • Organization Zone - Rule 10: Self Organizing Networks, Rule 11: Porous Membranes, Rule 12. Emerge

Figure I