The Three Pillars of High Performance Teams

Read this article and answer the recap questions at the end.

"The more decisions a leader makes, the further he or she is from leading a high-performance team. … Make too many command decisions, and you'll doom yourself and your team to mediocrity" - Mark Miller in The Secret of Teams


Everyone serious about success is serious about teams. Great teams lift organizations. Lousy teams drain everyone.

Mark Miller explains three pillars of successful teams.


First, success begins with selection. Every member must possess, "Attitude and aptitude for the job".

Always begin with attitude, not skills. I've made the mistake of becoming enamored with skills and abilities.

Bad attitudes ruin teams.

People with bad attitudes:

  1. Expect perfection from the beginning. They respond to imperfection by complaining or quitting. They can't grow and improve.
  2. Hate it when others do well.
  3. Complain about others while excusing themselves. They blame.
  4. Explain why things can't be done. They're "can't do" rather than "can do" people. Favorite words include, "We can't do that because …"
  5. Gossip. Rather than supporting, they tear down.

Additionally, attitude without aptitude results in frustration and failure. If they can't perform, can they learn?


Second, success requires constant training. "Become a training machine", Mark Miller.

Training topics include:

  1. Teamwork. Teach people how to work together if you expect them to work together.
  2. Decision making.
  3. Problem-solving.
  4. Leadership.
  5. Management.


Third, successful teams develop and enjoy esprit de corps. Mark says it's the "secret sauce" of high-performance teams; the essential ingredient. "This is the heart stuff".

"Your team will never perform at the highest possible level if the members of the team don't exhibit genuine care and concern for one another". Mark Miller

Surprising benefit:

Great teams mean you're not alone.

Source: Dan Rockwell,
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Last modified: Monday, November 9, 2020, 3:12 PM