Your LEADERS' make the difference.

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Your LEADERS' make the difference.

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Maree's Blog

The guide to building team performance

You are the technical expert. You’ve been promoted to manage a team and have discovered that the skills that got you here are not the ones needed now.

This team is not performing well. Yet you know that you can get great results. The trick is working out how to get the best from your team to achieve this.

There are three critical areas to focus on to achieve high performance

  1. Becoming engaged in this new role you are taking on and engaging with your team
  2. Creating predictable performance so results are assured and consistent
  3. Building the skills of your team and empowering them to excel

And there are three questions to go with these:

  • First, what are the right skills to support and get the best out of your team?
  • Second, how can you shift from overwhelm to effective control and create predictable performance?
  • Third, how can you create a sense of purpose, urgency, and accountability with your team, so they perform effectively?

I’ll answer these questions over this and future newsletters.I often see managers and teams fail to succeed. If you are experiencing the following, you may be at risk of low performance or worse:

  • Missed deadlines
  • Flustered team
  • Conflict in meetings (and people turning up late to meetings)
  • Poor use of resources
  • Higher overtime indexes
  • Higher levels of sick leave
  • Diaries are being booked wall to wall with meetings
  • Duplication of tasks
  • People are confused about who is doing what
  • You as the conduit for every communication, both inside the team and between them and stakeholders
  • Misunderstandings of required outcomes
  • Mediocre work by the team that you must redo

Let’s look at the first critical area and its question.
1.    Becoming engaged with your role and engaging with your team

Engaging with your role means discovering and tapping into your potential that has not yet emerged.

Engaging with your team means trusting them to do a good job.

Q: How do you know you have the right skills to support and get the best out of your team?

You have untapped potential to do this role well. You are in this position because people more senior believed in your abilities, and to some degree, you do as well, or you wouldn’t have taken it on. As a result, there is more depth to who you are and what you can achieve.

Trusting your team to do a good job can be challenging as they don’t do things the way you do. So you turn yourself into a micromanager as you hover over people, telling them how to do it.

Or you may take it back and do it yourself.

Or you may just do it yourself from the start because it takes too long to explain what you want.

Doing this doesn’t engage your team.

You can develop management skills to support each team member with what they need to perform well and increase team engagement.

Technical experts like you, promoted to lead a team, often experience doubt in their management abilities. You are finding this ‘people stuff’ more challenging than you expected. Ensuring high team performance cannot be guaranteed.

Skills that ALL managers need are:

  • Being able to listen and understand what others are saying to you.
  • Core coaching skills so you can coach each team member
  • An ability to be curious and ask open questions to find out more
  • The confidence to say, ‘I don’t know, what do you think?’
  • Mentoring skills, so you can mentor the team and help them learn to level up

It is up to you to develop and hone your management competence.

You can

  • Read management books. For example - my book Level Up – helping managers learn to do less and be more’ is full of tips and information about how to oomph up your management skills. I’ve added other highly recommended books at the end of this newsletter.
  • Listen to leadership podcasts. Search for leadership podcasts on your podcast platform of choice and sample a few to see which you like
  • Watch TED talks
  • Seek feedback from your boss and ask them about the areas they’d like you to focus on
  • Ask your team for feedback – get them to focus on strengths you bring to the role, and areas for development
  • Sign up for some management training or join a mastermind group (like my Level Up Leadership Group Program)


Changing how you operate will shift your team’s way of performing, leading to success.

PS: Here is some recommended readingThere are many great books out there. Some that I recommend for new and emerging managers:

Level Up

Level Up

How managers can learn to do less and be more. A book about leading at the right level.

Buy your copy now...

Connecting Us

Connecting Us Mockup Stack 01

This is your personal guidebook as a leader to building high performing teams.

Buy your copy now...

The XX Project

The XX Files by Maree Burgess

Giving women the skills and confidence to step up in the corporate world.

Buy your copy now...