The Leaders’ Secret to High-Performing Teams


When you look inside companies and teams that excel in their market or field, you will find a leadership team investing in developing managers and people to create strong outcomes. The leaders’ secret is having well-trained managers who are focused on motivating, coaching, and developing others to achieve positive results consistently.

Here is just one example of the payoff for developing high-performing teams:

  • Did you know one of the top NFL football teams has 30 coaches, 53 players, and 15 practice players and has a team value of 3.675 billion?
    • That is an average of 2.3 players to a coach
  • Did you know one of the bottom NFL football teams has 27 coaches, 53 players, and 15 practice players and has a team value of 3.05 billion?
    • That is an average of 2.6 players to a coach
  • Professional coaches have the following training before starting with an NFL team: a 4-year college degree, specialty in physiology or sports medicine, a career of coaching teams and players in other venues, coach certification programs, apprenticeship with other coaches, and more.

What is the optimal number of direct reports for a manager to be effective? According to range.co, it is seven employees per manager and according to Peter Drucker, one of the most influential thinkers on management, it is eight employees per manager. All of these numbers are flexible and shift by company and structure.

Consider these questions for your organization to discover the right number for your team:

  • Are you satisfied with your company’s performance and standing in the marketplace?
  • Are you creating the kind of management and leadership team that attracts the best players?
  • Are your managers constantly elevating their skills to be the best in the industry and marketplace?
  • Are team members performing at their personal best and most effective?
  • Are team members motivated, engaged, and excited to bring their best every day?
  • Are your managers trained to develop high-performing team members?
  • Are your managers focused on creating strong team members who can be promoted to their job, other jobs, departments, or projects?
  • Are your managers solution- and growth-oriented or problem- and issue-centric?

If you want to have a high-performing team, you must have managers who can develop high-performing players. Take time to assess where your managers and team members are strong and identify one skill each could develop to help build a stronger team with even better results.

“Train people well enough so they can leave,
treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
Richard Branson

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