Achieving Peak Performance: How to Build High-Performing Teams

Before my first day with my first PE-backed company, the CEO mailed me a copy of The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni.  I was familiar with the author and his more ubiquitous tome, The Five Dysfunctions of the Team. The investors had bought into the concept that “organizational health trumps everything else in the business,” and by association, their newly placed CEO was onboard.

As a management team, we invested heavily in understanding and attempting to optimize the health of the executive team as a critical component of building a high-performing team.  While I’m not sure that investment was returned as a positive outcome for the investor, I became a believer.

Lencioni posits, “The best competitive advantage any company can have is a well-functioning, high-performing team. No fancy technology, marketing campaign, or strategic brilliance can match the power of a truly aligned, engaged, and firing team on all cylinders.”

If you believe this is the case and have taken on initiatives to understand and improve organizational health as a path toward high team performance, this observation posted in HBR will surely resonate.

“High-performing teams aren’t built overnight. They require sustained effort, clear direction, and a commitment to creating an environment where people feel valued, supported, and empowered to do their best work.” – Liz Wiseman, “How to Create a Culture of Psychological Safety for Your Team.”

In this post, we will make the case that today’s operators in modern SaaS organizations should focus on three foundational elements in building a sustained, high-performance environment.  We’ll review them at a high level with deeper dives into each in subsequent posts.

High-Performing Teams

Building a Strong Foundation

It starts with getting the right people on the bus with diverse talents, experiences, and perspectives placed into strategically aligned goals.  Team members must clearly understand their role and contribution to the overall goals of their team and company.

In subsequent posts, we’ll delve into strategic hiring practices outlined in Harvard Business Review’s “The 4 Lenses of Talent Assessment”, ensuring you attract and retain the right talent, individuals who not only possess the necessary skills but also seamlessly integrate into your team’s fabric. We’ll explore effective organizational structures that foster transparency, communication, and collaboration, as championed in “Radical Candor” by Kim Scott.

“The best competitive advantage any company can have is a well-functioning, high-performing team. No fancy technology, marketing campaign, or strategic brilliance can match the power of a truly aligned, engaged, and firing team on all cylinders.”

Patrick Lencioni, The Advantage (2020)

Fostering a Growth Mindset

Much has been written about the “Growth Mindset” based on the popularity of Carol Dweck’s “Mindset”.  In our world, stagnation is synonymous with decline. Organizations must nurture a continuous learning and development culture while encouraging feedback and mentorship.  This concept Lencioni advocates empowers teams to push boundaries and reach new heights.

We’ll drill down and provide actionable advice for fostering this mindset and building organizational resiliency that rewards adaptability and perseverance in facing challenges.

Establishing a Winning Culture

A team’s spirit is its lifeblood from which energy and will to succeed are drawn.  Hanging physical and virtual placards with company mission and value statements is insufficient.  Demonstrating and rewarding behaviors that fortify those values is the key.  Some key attributes of a winning culture include:

  • Sense of Belonging: Feeling valued and connected fosters collaboration and trust
  • Shared Purpose: A unifying vision inspires commitment and collective effort
  • Celebration of Success: Recognizing and rewarding achievements boosts morale and motivation
  • Learning from Failure: Viewing setbacks as opportunities for growth strengthens team

In subsequent posts, we’ll guide you in defining your company values and mission, creating a shared vision that unites your team, similar to the approach outlined in “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek. We’ll explore strategies for recognizing and rewarding desired behaviors, fostering a positive and engaging work environment, and building an unshakeable sense of camaraderie, drawing inspiration from “The Culture Code” by Daniel Coyle.


Remember, building a high-performing team is not a one-time event; it’s a continuous journey. Stay tuned for our upcoming articles, where we’ll dive deeper into these crucial aspects, equipping you with the tools and knowledge to unlock your team’s true potential.


McKinsey & Company, “Why Talent Acquisition Matters” (2023),

Patrick Lencioni, “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: The Power of Having (and Sharing) a Vision” (2015)

Carol Dweck, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” (2006)

Harvard Business Review, “The Neuroscience of Why Some Companies Are Better at Change Than Others” (2020)

Simon Sinek, “Start with Why” (2011)

Daniel Coyle, “The Culture Code” (2018)

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