I want to lead a great team – don’t you? I want to work on big ideas that will have a big impact. I want to invest my leadership energy in people and projects that matter. I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way. So where do we begin? We have to start where we are – but thankfully we don’t have to stay there.

The key ingredients necessary for team success are Talent, Skills and Community. Tim Tassopoulos, Senior V.P. of Operations at Chick-fil-A challenged our organization at our annual meeting to be clear on some important distinctions in this arena.

People and Talent are not the same thing…

Every team is comprised of people. However, many teams lack the Talent they need for great accomplishment. One of our roles as leaders is to always be looking for Talent – always recruiting. What does Talent look like in your context? Don’t settle for just anybody to be on your team.

Assigning Tasks is not the same as developing Skills

High Performance Teams have skilled members. These are men and women who have individual skills and team skills. If we’re not careful, we could find ourselves delegating tasks rather than developing skills. If this happens, over time, your team will be devoid of any initiative and creativity. Don’t confuse delegation with skill development.

Collaboration is no substitute for real Community

People in high performance teams do work together – they do collaborate. But they do so much more. Real Community is about doing life together. When this happens, it is the turbo-charger for team performance. The members of the team are no longer just working for the organization; they are working for each other also. Don’t settle for getting along with each other. Invest the time and energy in cultivating authentic community and your team will never be the same again.

We are excited to work with Mark Miller, well known business leader, best-selling author, and communicator. This week we are celebrating the relaunch of his fantastic book,  The Secret of Teams: What Great Teams Know and Do. You can find it on Amazon and in bookstores everywhere. You can also connect with Mark on Twitter or Facebook and read his blog at tmarkmiller.com