The Honest Truth About Teams by Lolly Daskal


There’s a good reason we spend so much time thinking about teams.

Every organization in every industry pursues ambitious projects, works hard to get and serve clients and customers, and tackles new markets, new ideas, and new innovation.

Competition is fierce, and it takes a great team to deliver the kind of performance that keeps organizations successful.

There are no quick answers about how to build a great team. But after years of observing many team dynamics, I have come to recognize a few elements that make up a top-performing team:

A compelling vision and meaningful purpose: Top-performing teams have a defined vision and purpose that resonate with its members and draw them in.

Clarified roles and skills: Top-performing teams clearly identify the role and expectations of each member based on their talents and skills. Research shows that collaboration improves when the roles of individuals are clearly defined and understood.

Strategy and goals: Top-performing teams need a clearly defined strategy, plan, and goals. Strategy provides a map that shows where the team is going, and planning and goals tell how they’ll get there.

Commitment and accountability: Top-performing teams need for each member to hold a personal commitment and individual accountability for their role, while still supporting one another.

Mutual trust: Top-performing teams spend time cultivating trust, investing in relationships, and collaboratively developing and refining their mission, purpose, roles, and challenges.

Challengers and collaborators: Top-performing teams need diversity in personalities and talent. They need members who don’t just settle for pleasant conversation but who respectfully challenge and ask, and members who build relationships and bring people together.

Communication and dialogue: Top-performing teams need channels of communication that are open, authentic, challenging, courageous, and real. There is no room for passive aggression and backbiting. Team members are free to speak from the heart and embrace dialogue even in disagreement.

There will never be a perfect team, because teams are, after all, made up of imperfect people.

Every team his its own strengths and frustrations, But the best teams have a vision. They communicate well and they know their goals, skills, and talents.

When teams are given the tools to truly collaborate, they can create true excellence.

Lead From Within: We are not trying to mandate perfection but to build teams whose hearts are beating to the same rhythm.

For coaching, consulting, workshops and speaking. Please feel free to contact me.

About Lolly

Lolly is the founder of Lead from Within, a global consultancy that has counseled heads of state, consulted to CEOs of large multinationals, and coached budding entrepreneurs.

Over 460,972 people follow Lolly’s wisdom on Twitter and subscribe to her blog; her inspirational speeches are greeted by standing ovations worldwide.

Free Resource for Stronger Teams


A Free Resource for You

If you’ve read The Secret of Teams, then you know the basic steps that Debbie Brewster and her team learned that would help them go from good to high performance. Now what?

Or perhaps you haven’t read the book but you are looking for help in building a high performance team.

Mark Miller’s Secret of Teams Field Guide and Workbook is designed to give you step by step instruction and practical applications so you can begin to develop and excel in the three elements of high performing teams: Talent, Skills, and Community. Use this guide alone or use it with a group.

To receive your free copy of this 124 page Field Guide, subscribe now. If you are already a subscriber, you will receive an error message, but we’d love to help you get the download, so email us at and we’ll send you a link for the download.

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Find Mark’s book, The Secret of Teams, online at:

Burn the Ships


by Mark Miller

This is a great post from a solid leader. Follow the link below to read the rest.

I spent two days this week with leaders from around the country who specialize in helping organizations thrive. Although our time was focused on how to create high performance teams, we also talked about how to change the culture of an organization. Together, we compiled an impressive list of strategies and tactics.

A couple of months ago, I wrote about how to make your culture a competitive advantage. That post featured four ideas: Select for Culture, Leverage Core Values, Model the Way and Attack the Gaps.

I stand by those recommendations, but what else can a leader do when a fundamental change in the culture is needed? Here are four additional ideas for your consideration.

1. Listen to learn – This is not just listening to create the impression that you are a compassionate, caring leader. Nor is it a strategy to create buy-in for what you’ll ultimately propose. It really is to learn. You may learn why things have been done the way they have, maybe you’ll learn the story behind the current culture, you will probably learn what has worked in the past and you may learn who the key influencers are in the organization.