Unleashing High-Performing Leadership: A Deep Dive into What Sets the Best Teams Apart

A team at work putting their hands together in a circle to celebrate success
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When asked why people stay, join, or leave companies, the topic of culture inevitably comes up. But people rarely experience the company culture in its entirety; they experience it through the lens of the people they interact with on a regular basis – their teams! Their respective teams shape their day-to-day experience, which is why you can have such varying engagement results across an entire organization.

And in the dynamic landscape of today’s work environment, where remote and hybrid setups have become the norm, the role of a leader in fostering high-performing teams is more crucial than ever. As someone who has delved into extensive research and worked closely with numerous teams, I am excited to share insights and actionable strategies that can elevate your team’s performance to new heights.

Don’t miss this intriguing
webinar from HRDQ-U

Don’t miss this intriguing webinar from HRDQ-U

High-Performing Leadership: What the Best Teams Have and Do

Understanding the Foundation: Intentional Leadership

Team success is not a stroke of luck; it’s a deliberate outcome of intentional leadership. In the realm of distributed and hybrid work, leaders must be proactive in shaping the culture, dynamics, and goals of their teams. Our research has revealed that the best teams, irrespective of industry, level, or life cycle, share a common thread of intentional leadership.

“Great leaders are willing to sacrifice their own personal interests for the good of the team.” – John C. Maxwell

This sentiment echoes the essence of intentional leadership. It involves putting the team’s interests above personal gains, fostering a collaborative environment, and steering the collective effort toward a shared vision.

The Actionable Framework: A Guide to High-Performing Teams

Drawing from our research and hands-on experience, we have crafted an actionable framework that empowers leaders to drive team performance. By the end of the January 17th webinar, High-Performing Leadership: What the Best Teams Have and Do, you will not only be equipped to assess your team’s standing but also understand where to invest for maximum impact.

  1. Setting and Monitoring Your Own Team’s Barometer: I believe formal assessments and benchmarking are useful in understanding where your team stands. But ultimately more useful is developing your team’s own skills in being able to understand – at any given moment, without having to turn to a third party – how you are doing, what choices and actions are contributing to your shared performance, and where you need to invest next. A truly high-performing team understands where they are and how to evolve themselves as their circumstances evolve, without relying on a third-party assessment that lacks context.
  2. Multiplying High-Performing Teams: Once you understand your team’s strengths and weaknesses, leverage this knowledge to propagate high performance across your organization. Identify and nurture potential leaders, creating a ripple effect that elevates the overall organizational performance.


The power of a high-performing team transcends individual achievements. By fostering a culture of collaboration and excellence, you contribute to a collective success that goes beyond the confines of your immediate team.

The Cornerstone of Success: Strengths-Based Leadership

In our exploration of high-performing teams, we discovered a recurring theme – the concept of strengths-based leadership. This approach involves not just addressing weaknesses but amplifying strengths to achieve peak performance and engagement.

Apply this wisdom to leadership. Instead of dwelling on shortcomings, invest time and resources in honing and leveraging the unique strengths of yourself and your team members. This not only boosts performance but also enhances job satisfaction and overall well-being.

  1. Self-Leadership: Begin with yourself. Identify your strengths and how they align with your leadership style. By understanding your unique contributions, you can lead authentically and inspire those around you.

Leadership that stems from a deep understanding of personal strengths is authentic and inspiring. It sets the tone for a positive and empowering team culture.

  1. Individual Leaders: Extend the strengths-based approach to individual team members. Encourage self-awareness and help them uncover their strengths. Align tasks and responsibilities with their strengths to enhance engagement and productivity.

Empower your team members to shine in their areas of strength. A team of individuals leveraging their strengths creates a synergy that propels the entire team to greater heights.

  1. Team Dynamics: Apply the strengths-based lens to the team as a whole. Create a balanced team where each member’s strengths complement the others. This diversity of strengths fosters innovation, problem-solving, and a resilient team culture.

A high-performing team is not a group of identical individuals but a collection of diverse strengths that, when harnessed effectively, lead to unparalleled success.

Succession Planning and Team Effectiveness: A Symbiotic Relationship

Succession planning is often viewed through the lens of individual growth, but when intertwined with the concept of team effectiveness, it becomes a powerful catalyst for organizational success.

“Great leaders are willing to surround themselves with people who are smarter than them.”  – Carla Harris

As a forward-thinking leader, align your succession planning with the dynamics of your high-performing team. Identify and groom individuals whose strengths complement the team’s collective capabilities, ensuring a seamless transition when leadership changes hands.

The Numbers Speak: A Glimpse into High-Performing Teams

Don’t just take my word for it. The statistics speak volumes about the impact of intentional leadership and strengths-based approaches on team performance.

  • Employee Engagement: According to a Gallup article about leading with strengths, teams that focus on their employees’ strengths every day have a 12.5% increase in productivity.
  • Retention Rates: A study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that organizations that implement strengths-based practices have a 50% higher employee retention rate.
  • Innovation: Diversity of strengths fosters innovation. A McKinsey report reveals that gender-diverse companies are 21% more likely to outperform their counterparts.

Conclusion: Elevating Leadership, Empowering Teams

In the ever-evolving landscape of work, high-performing leadership is not a luxury – it’s a necessity. By embracing intentional leadership, leveraging strengths, and intertwining succession planning with team effectiveness, you position your team and organization for sustained success.

As a leader, your role extends beyond steering the ship; it’s about nurturing a culture of excellence, where each member thrives in their strengths, contributing to a collective success that transcends individual achievements. Embrace the journey of high-performing leadership, and watch as your team transforms into a force to be reckoned with in the modern workplace.

Nenuca Syquia Headshot
Nenuca Syquia

Nenuca Syquia is the CEO and Founder of Better Organizations by Design (BOxD); a BIPOC, woman-owned and led HR consulting firm that guides clients through the most challenging points of their change journey. Nenuca designs organizations, equips teams and develops leaders all with a DEI lens.

Nenuca founded BOxD with two goals:

  1. To make toxic, inequitable workplaces a thing of the past.
  2. To challenge the model of management consulting only available to industry giants.


Nenuca has transformed businesses large and small, across industries and lifecycles, global and local – from Sanofi to The San Francisco Ballet and Google to family-owned businesses. She was born and raised in the Philippines and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Nenuca holds a Master’s in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and a Master of Science in Organizational Development from the University of San Francisco. She has been recognized as Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 100 Most Influential Women. She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Silicon Valley Chapter of 50/50 (an established nationwide organization dedicated to achieving gender equity on corporate boards) and as a Commission Member advising the city of Sunnyvale, CA on how to leverage a systems approach to equity-related issues.

Recommended Webinar
High-Performing Leadership: What the Best Teams Have and Do

Learn how to become a high-performing leader and in turn, increase team performance by implementing effective strategies and tactics.

High-Performing Leadership: What the Best Teams Have and Do webinar
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