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High-performance teams: driving talent with purpose.

by Francisco Santolo

How to lead committed and effective teams and manage talent for organizational success, focusing on professional development and innovation.

High-performance teams: driving talent with purpose.

Just think about it. Everything is about people: your life, your memories, your dreams, your work, your enterprises, who you are, who you will be, and everything you will achieve.

Think about your company: the brands, products, and services you offer to consumers are the wonderful result of a group of talented individuals, deciding together, creating together, and building relationships through continuous interaction.

To create a great company, you need to nurture these relationships through common values, a strong organizational culture, a shared vision, and a clear purpose, giving people autonomy. Only then can you achieve unprecedented results with a highly committed and passionate team.

You will see your team improve, develop, grow, and surprise you, giving you the most gratifying feeling in the corporate world. In that spirit, I will share some personal opinions and views on working with people and developing highly effective teams:

Choose the Right People

You need to start by recruiting the right people. Raise the bar, always bring in people better than you. Look for a solid education and professional experience, but focus mostly on values, passion, and high potential for growth in the company.

Try to create a multidisciplinary, multicultural, and diverse team. Prioritize and promote internal talent. Work to develop a career path within your area.

Co-create the area's purpose and plan with the team.

Why are we together as a team? What do we want to achieve? Involve them in defining an ambitious journey, setting challenging goals, and creating indicators (OKRs) to measure performance. Motivation will be great as it becomes real and will strengthen the team.

Promote a culture of openness and joint construction.

Become a facilitator, creating conditions for an exceptional group of people to build together. Create open spaces for your team to interact, leaving egos and hierarchies aside and focusing on arguments. Provoke thought, and guide with questions.

Encourage people to question your ideas and conclusions, proving time and again that it is safe to do so. Train your team to express their opinions correctly and in the right place.

Promote cooperation within high standards, not competition. Don't evaluate people only for their achievements; recognize those who contribute most to the entire team.

Everyone will have the opportunity to grow, and they will follow different career paths, they don't need to compete, they need to share, and help each other, and by doing so, the area will improve.

On the other hand, recognize those who influence people and learn how to delegate - there is a false belief at the beginning of your career that things are more valuable if you do them yourself -

Insist and encourage your team members to welcome their new colleagues, open doors, be transparent, share tools, and help in everything they can. When defining objectives, go for a mix of individual and shared goals.

Strong Focus on Results

Create a culture based on results. We have a devotion to results, we need to exceed our objectives, and there is always something more to do, we are here to do it together.

Where necessary, take a leading role, but work through your team, and incite their autonomy. Let them manage their schedules, work from home, find ways to achieve each goal, and don't assume you know better. You can suggest, push, be present, but don't micromanage.

Promote autonomy within your team. Provide the right tools and resources. Always assume the final responsibility.

Encourage your team to make decisions, to take risks, to learn, to grow. Be the finally responsible for failures, protect them when they err. But in those cases, train them more than ever, give feedback, set expectations, and review learnings. Non-negligent error is valuable as long as it generates learning.

Delegate often, promote their autonomy, but learn when to be close and always be willing and accessible. Make sure they have the right tools and resources: they should not be a barrier. Clarify what deliveries are expected and insist on proactivity, encourage them to make the extra effort by creating new things and improving processes.

Practice situational leadership. In the beginning, stay close, and monitor to avoid mistakes, as they gain more confidence, start giving them more and more space. Delegate the right amount of tasks, operational processes, and projects.

Define Processes, Roles, and Responsibilities

They are fundamental in any area, and you need to define them clearly. Along with the plan, these will guide the way. But expose different team members to what others are doing. Let them co-create, and participate in different projects, don't just expose them to a small part of the area. Generate open spaces. Promote curiosity, proactivity, and a culture of helping.

Set the right incentives for your team and set an example.

You will be surprised, but much of the time your team will act as you do, so transmit values and be a good example. In the corporate world, incentives - mostly non-monetary - are key.

Recognize Your Team

Always recognize your team - small things, big things: attitude changes, response to feedback, achievements, initiatives, good arguments in discussions, exposure - and help them cover the gaps for their growth. Be proud of them, make them feel that you are proud. Make sure they are properly rewarded and fight for them, it's your job to show others the good things they are doing, and how they are growing.

Regular Feedback

Stay close to your team. Give regular feedback, both on strengths and areas to develop. It needs to be immediate, don't wait for a performance evaluation. Prioritize their growth over your comfort. Always be transparent, and sincere, give examples, and try to show the potential benefits of attitude changes. An open space for feedback generates bonds and trust. It is the space where you can build trust and camaraderie with your team.

Another fundamental course that wonderfully and comprehensively exposes how we can act as leaders throughout the lifecycle of our collaborators is the Human Resources Course from Scalabl® taught by Claudina Restaino and Cecilia Acuto.

Be Empathetic

Work on your perception; you need to be able to read your team when something is wrong. When you perceive something like this, always create the open space, even if it generates complexities, don't let it explode, you can help. In a way, every manager is a manager of feelings and thoughts, after all, we are working with people.

Don't Confuse Caring with Underestimating or Not Saying Things

You are taking care of your people when you develop them. When you tell them what you think will make them grow. When you expose them to new challenges. When you don't allow them to be victims. Underestimating - assuming it's too much for them, assuming feedback won't help, assuming talking is too difficult - is not taking care of your team.

Don't Accept Victims in Your Team

When they give up under pressure and blame external factors, explain to them the risks of this behavior and train them to face the situation with a protagonist attitude. Show them how their victim position acts against them and their growth. No matter whose fault it is, they are the only ones who can change their reality. If they want to reach the next challenge or position, they need to consistently show they can easily manage the current one.

Insist on the Importance of Relationships

A damaged relationship can be very dangerous in the corporate world, regardless of the other person's rank. Respect, generosity, and patience are necessary virtues and attitudes.

Company Politics, Exposure

Good politics is relating, taking care of others, taking care of your image and personal marketing - how to behave in a company, and understanding the importance of perceptions. Help expose their best actions and skills. Train them to decide to develop their weaknesses. Invite them to participate in projects with other areas to show themselves and develop other aspects.

Encourage Them to Actively Manage Their Career Paths

Encourage your team to define future positions of interest, and where they want to go with their next step. Analyze the gap, and work with them to cover it. Train them in their career, and build a development plan together with them. When possible, design a career plan within your area so that people can grow.

Always Promote Their Growth

Never put yourself ahead of your team. Nothing should give you more pride than seeing your team grow. Fight for it, and be part of their journey. You are preparing valuable people for your company, you are positively influencing their lives, and you have the opportunity to develop someone else, to meet, learn, and interact with another person. Remember: it's all about people.

Don't Retain a Person in a Job That's Not Right for Them

If after the effort, feedback, training, etc., the person is not right for the position, try to find another challenge that suits their capabilities. If no such position is available, don't assume that protecting them and allowing them to continue in the company is good for them. Of course, there are better challenges for their lives out there. Nothing is sadder than encouraging a person to stay in the company with no prospects for growth or recognition. You can accompany them in the transition in many ways. Again, underestimating, or avoiding conversations is not taking care of them.

Don't Try to Teach All the Time

If you have the right team, you will be learning all the time.

Don't Just Stay in the Leadership Role

Develop leaders within the team, and always be a facilitator. Delegate responsibilities on important matters, when they are ready, even on your tasks, you can always create new projects, new initiatives, new processes, or develop a new area.

Promote Intrapreneurship and Innovation

Intrapreneurship is a fundamental pillar in the practice of transformative leadership. Fostering a culture that promotes an entrepreneurial mindset within organizations not only drives innovation and creativity but also strengthens the sense of belonging and individual responsibility of team members to the company's objectives. This approach allows ideas to flourish and enables each individual to feel valued and capable of making a significant contribution to the growth of the organization.

To delve deeper into these concepts and develop practical skills, the Online Course in Entrepreneurship and Innovation provides a deep understanding of how to foster a culture of intrapreneurship, equipping participants with the necessary competencies to drive innovation.


Always be proud of your team, the journey you share, the relationships you build, and their growth and development. In addition to the good practices and processes that you leave in the company, you will contribute to an excellent group of people and a highly effective team that will continue there even when you are no longer there.

Give them space, trust them, be available, and facilitate, and they will surprise you, they will do the rest.

Think about it again, it's all about people!

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