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20 July 2021

3 Tips for Building a Better Team

Jairek Robbins

We at High Performance Ventures are focused on helping businesses grow their enterprises so that they can produce more revenue, more profit and have more free time. Today, we are going to share a couple of tips on how you can upgrade your team. 

I have had this same discussion 3-4 times with different people this week. The companies were varied and included an HVAC company from Europe, a mail delivery company, a private equity firm and so on. When we looked at those firms, they were doing well. However, they somehow seemed unable to up-level their results despite getting a lot of traction, having great products or services, and so on.

More worryingly, some of those companies were beginning to lose traction and were not hitting their goals, falling behind on their targets for the quarter or year, and things were getting a little wonky for the business yet they didn’t know what to do.

If your business or the business of someone you know is struggling, these tips below are for you to help you up-level your team.

But first, let me share with you the result of doing this right. Barbara and Dean are a couple and they are our clients. Last year was their best year ever in business and I am very proud of them. They had a 50% increase in revenue year-to-date (YTD), 171% increase in profitability and 195% increase in net profit. 

When I asked them what the secret sauce to making all that happen was, they said that there were two things that they improved upon. The first was upgraded and up-leveled the team they had. They figured out what the standard of their team needed to be in each aspect and they ascertained at what level each team member was, and then they figured out a way to up-level the team to where it needed to be.  In some cases, they replaced some team members with new ones who were willing to step up. They also upgraded their processes and systems.

If we were to categorize your team, we could have levels like under-performing, average performance, above average performance and the last is maximum capacity performance. We want your people to be in the category of above average performance and not max capacity because when they are at max capacity, you are pushing them too hard and something could give at any moment.

Here are three tips to help you up-level your team.

1. Figure out where your team stands on a performance scale

Average performance is ordinary, and you don’t want a team in this category, and obviously, below average or under-performance is not good at all for the health and growth of your business.

So, you want to look at your industry and know what the numbers are so that you can figure out where your team is. Based on your standards and metrics, determine where each person on the team lies in those four categories. 

How do you get as many of the average performers as possible to become above average performers? How do you keep the above average performers from sliding down to average? How do you prevent the people performing at max capacity from burning out because they are pushing really hard? 

People ask, what do you do with the people who are under-performing? The simple thing is to fire and replace them. While this may seem very harsh, the reality is that people delivering above average performance and those at max capacity will not tolerate working with under-performers. So, would you rather lose your top performers as you hang onto the under-performers?

2. What behaviors characterize each category (under-performers, average performers, etc.)

You need to develop the standards of what characterizes the behavior of each of those four categories in your business. You can then take it against anyone on your team and you can show then what behaviors they need to display in order to belong to any of those categories. They can then rate themselves and realize where they belong on that scale. Soon enough, they will be asking what they need to do to level up and get in the zone.

I was talking to a client in the UK and he said the majority of his team falls in the category of under-performers. Six people out of ten fall in this group, 3 are average performers and one person is in the sweet spot between above average and max capacity. That one top performer quit and went to work somewhere else because they didn’t want to remain working with people who kept giving all the excuses in the zones of under-performers and average performers.

I went farther and asked them what the average person (not a top performer like Lebron James) was expected to deliver. He said according to the government, someone average should be performing at least at level 4 on a scale of 0-10 in the industry of my client. 

When he went and asked his team to deliver that average level of performance, his team said it was impossible, it was insane, no one could possibly do that, and so on. The team had a mile-long list of complaints and excuses when he tasked them to perform at the average standard. And so he has a team that is committed to chronically under-performing and maybe sneak to the average performance level once in a while.

And you can guess how his company is doing. They are off-track, missing their numbers, and they are slipping. Remember, they are even losing the best people (the one person who was a top performer).

What do you do in that case? One of my friends and mentors gave me a letter called “the apology” where you sit down and reset the entire culture of the company during one conversation with the team. You spell out what makes performance poor, average, above average and max capacity.

Thereafter, set a standard that going forward, you will not accept anything less than 5 out of 10. You inform them that you only want above-average people who deliver above-average results on the team. Tell them that if they want to stay on the team, they should figure out how to deliver the desired results. Otherwise, they will be replaced one by one.

That sounds a little harsh for most people, but let me ask you this: If you showed up every single day and you gave your best effort, were 100%-focused yet you couldn’t be successful at what you are doing. Wouldn’t that drive you crazy? The greatest gift such a company can give you is to let you go somewhere else where you can get the results you want after giving 100% of your effort.

And so you have to let go of those who aren’t willing to deliver above average results so that they can go where their level of performance is accepted. 

If you need help with resetting the performance or culture of your team, go to highperformanceventures.com or jairekrobbins.com where we have a few business programs through which we can show you exactly how to do this. For example, this month we are talking about how to define the maximum capacity of your team and that of your equipment, and how you can grow your organization and push it up into the above average performance level. So, go to one of those sites, click on one of the business programs and fill out the form, and one member from our team will chat with you and see if we can be of help. 

3. The S-curve of learning

The other way you can use to really up-level your team involves three stages of transformation. In the first 4-6 months, you have people who are inexperienced. This is the first of the three stages. The people in this phase are fresh, they are excited, but they don’t really grasp what is happening. In this phase, people are learning and trying to get off the ground. 

If handled right, from the end of those initial six months to about 10 years you will have people who are fully engaged. This is the second stage of the three mentioned earlier. The people in this phase are aligned, they are driven, they are dedicated and are committed. They do everything it takes and it makes them feel so alive doing it every single day. How do you build your team members so that they remain absolutely engaged? 

The third stage is mastery. After about 10 years, people start getting to this phase of mastery. If you don’t innovate with your team members, after about 10 years they will begin to get bored or they will completely disengage because they’ve “been there, done that.” How do you ensure that your team remains completely engaged?

According to Gallup research, only 34% of American employees say they are completely engaged, 17% say they are actively disengaged while 52% reveal that they just show up at work. 

If you want to keep your team and have a high performing and driven group, you’ve got to understand what we are discussing today. Set some standards, measure your people and know where they stand, put a learning and growth plan in place to keep them fully engaged so that they can absolutely stick with you throughout the journey.

If you want help with this, go to jairekrobbins.com and click on one of our business programs and fill in the application. We would love to assist you in mentoring your team and really up-leveling your overall business. 

Just a reminder of what kind of results show up when you up-level your team. Barbara and Dean, during a global pandemic in 2020, managed to see a 50% increase in revenue YTD, 171% increase in profitability YTD, and 195% increase in net profit during one of the hardest known years in business in our lifetime. They did this by upgrading their systems and processes, up-leveling their team and setting standards like we discussed earlier. If you would like help in doing this, go to jairekrobbins.com, complete the application, and we would love to chat. I hope this is useful, put it to work, and I look forward to seeing you soon in another master class session like this one.

To Your Success,

Jairek Robbins

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