Berger Leadership Blog

Cultivating high-performing teams

NAFCU staff

As leaders, we need our teams to perform at their best and highest level 100 percent of the time. How do we do it?

Chris Hallberg, author and leadership coach, and former staff sergeant in the Army National Guard, suggests setting the bar high and keeping it there. In a recent interview with CNBC, Hallberg explains that leaders should absolutely serve as a "support system" for their employees, but also need to provide clear, concise and direct expectations. Part of this, he adds, is hiring "A" players.

"My simple definition of an 'A' player is someone who can do twice that of a 'C' player," he tells CNBC. " 'A' players are generally limited to the top 20 percent of a typical team of employees."

I especially like what Hallberg says next: "When you have a high-performing team, you can relax and provide gentle guidance because your 'A' players don't need you to micro-manage. Instead, they need you to help them unblock obstacles, keep the team at top performance (by enforcing agreed upon performance metrics) and make sure everyone is thriving within the company culture."

For employees that may not meet this standard quite yet, Hallberg says it is up to the leader to coach them and bring them up. He suggests giving employees 60 days to fix any underperformance issues. If no improvement is seen (and Hallberg says you should start seeing improvements in the first 30 days if an employee is motivated), then it might be time to help them find a team that's a better fit.

When we set the bar high for ourselves and our teams, we aim high. And when we have teams that aim high, we have people that are willing to go the extra mile to see the organization succeed and flourish – something every leader wants. Follow me on Twitter (@BDanBerger).

About the Author

B. Dan Berger, President and CEO, NAFCU

Dan BergerB. Dan Berger first joined NAFCU in 2006 and has helped expand the association's reputation into becoming a premiere advocate for the credit union industry.

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