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The Secret Ingredient of High Performing Teams

What is the secret ingredient of high performing teams?

Have you ever thought how Leicester City, with an estimated wage bill of £48.2m in the 2015-16 season, became Premier League Champions, whilst Chelsea, with an estimated wage bill of £215.6m finished 10th?

Conversely, you could wonder why English Premier League (EPL) clubs like Norwich City (relegated), Swansea City and Crystal Palace, who had a similar wage bill in the 2015-16 season as Leicester City, were not ‘up there’ sharing the spotlight near the top of the EPL ladder.

What about teams like Hawthorn, Sydney Swans and Geelong in the Australian Football League (AFL)? These teams have regularly made finals appearances and won premierships over the last 13 years. These three teams are achieving unprecedented success in an ‘equalisation system’ (the salary cap and draft process) designed to ‘share’ the successes across the 18 teams.

What ‘secret ingredient’ do these ‘high performing’ teams share? It is the one thing that changes everything –TRUST.

Trust is one of the most powerful forms of motivation, and people want to be trusted. People respond and indeed thrive on trust. When people get good at building, spreading and restoring trust, it becomes the most effective way to work together and achieve results. Trust is the ‘secret ingredient’ these teams share.


Trust is based on two things: Character and Competence.


Character includes you doing what you say you will do and putting the team’s needs in front of your own if required. Competence includes you having the skills for the role and applying these skills under pressure.

Trust is of fundamental importance in developing high performing teams, whether this be in the workplace or in the sporting arena. It enables your boss, work colleague, coach or teammate to know that you will perform your role well, and it enables them to know that you will make decisions in the best interest of the team. Trust enables your boss, work colleague, coach or teammate to know you have the skills to do the role. It enables them to know that you will perform these skills consistently under any conditions.

Imagine if the ‘Trustworthy Scale’ had a range of 1 to 10, with 1 being ‘Not Yet Trustworthy’ and 10 being ‘Trustworthy’.

Where would you sit on the ‘Trustworthy Scale’? How would your friends rate you? Would they rate you differently to how you rated yourself? Would you rate yourself differently depending on the environment, e.g. workplace, sporting team or your relationships?

My focus is to ‘create high performing teams’ in the workplace. If organisations are striving to be the Leicester City of the EPL or the Hawthorn, Sydney Swans or Geelong of the AFL, they must learn to build, spread and restore trust in their work environments.

The great thing is, in keeping with the growth mindset belief, ‘trustworthiness’ can be learnt. If you are passionate about becoming a ‘high performing’ organisation, what action will you take to improve your ‘trustworthiness’?



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Are you frustrated by politics and confusion in your workplace, is there low morale and productivity, or is your business experiencing unwanted turnover and hiring costs? Call me on +61 417 191 409 or email me at brendan@brendanrogers.com.au, and let's have a chat!