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6 Best High Performing Teams Books

High-performing teams are the goal of every company. A team or whole organization that is hyper-focused on its goals, achieving exceptional business results, usually consists of people with specialized skills and complementary expertise. They work together at the highest levels to consistently outperform their competitors.   

If your team couldn’t currently be described as high-performing, fear not. The following are 5 of the best books on high-performing teams. 

Related: 5 Best Examples of High Performing Teams

Best High Performing Teams Books

Reimagine Teams

Mark Samuel’s newest book, Reimagine Teams: The Missing Piece in Team Building to Achieve Breakthrough Results is the book consultants and business leaders alike have been missing.

Through the storytelling of real client cases and personal experience, Mark takes us on a journey, painting a picture of exactly why past and current team-building practices are missing the mark and how to get real, actionable results in both culture transformation and business outcomes using practical approaches to accountability, teamwork, and leadership. He even discusses three specific core competencies that are missing in teambuilding today.

Mark makes the bold case that building personal rapport between team members never really improves team execution and that in order to get a team working well together, they have to actually practice working well together, not just do ropes courses, escape rooms, and style inventories. To make this point clear, Mark gives a comprehensive guide to figuring out where exactly your team is breaking down. Hint: It’s not at the relationship level!  

I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to uplevel their own team, any leader who is tired of wasting money on teambuilding exercises that don’t seem to make a lasting difference, or for any consultant who isn’t getting the sustainable, breakthrough results they’re looking for with their clients. As you read, you will see your own team in Mark’s stories and you’ll finally start to understand what you’ve been missing!

Driven By Difference: How Great Companies Fuel Innovation Through Diversity

Your workforce is diverse. We know this because every workforce is full of diversity. This is great news because it means that your organization has a variety of perspectives and skills, creating an environment where innovation can take place.  

David Livermore, PhD., shows how important it is to manage diverse teams well to ensure their creativity in Driven by Difference. The trick is to minimize conflict while maximizing the informational diversity in their unique life experiences and values. Livermore introduces what may be a new term for some – cultural intelligence (CQ). It’s the means by which leaders can think inclusively and promote the level of respect needed to get the best from everyone. 

This book uses the success stories of some of the most highly-regarded companies to demonstrate the effects of different management practices. This book will teach you how to build trust, create an optimal environment, unify perspectives, align goals, and get fresh ideas, to name just a few.

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together … and Others Don’t

Simon Sinek, a worldwide best-selling author, shares more vision and wisdom for building high-performing teams. Leaders Eat Last is a call for leaders to be worthy of the loyalty they desire. Teams must buy into your WHY, as their leader, and feel inspired to trust your vision. It makes sense, but how is it accomplished?  

Sinek takes examples from the Marine Corps, where a culture of loyalty has enlisted men and women willingly laying down their lives for one another. They haven’t been brainwashed. Sinek explains that it’s biology, based on when people are naturally at their best. If companies can duplicate the mentality that this environment produces, their teams will be more unified and apt to take big risks. They would know that just as a Marine risks their lives knowing that others in the service would do the same for them, your team can be assured of your support and backing.  

Sinek effectively shows how it’s possible to hold fast to your WHY even as the company adds employees and grows. This writer understands the dynamics of business and teams. You won’t be disappointed with this read.

Related: How to Be a Team Player in Business

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

If you prefer storytelling to the usual self-help format, you’ll love this book. Patrick Lencioni has also written two other bestsellers, The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive. This newest book focuses on the leadership of teams.  

The story is told of Kathryn Petersen, the CEO of Decision Tech. She is faced with the overwhelming challenge of unifying a team so out of sync that it could destroy the whole company. You will watch as she courageously faces the possibility of failure and disappointment. The story is well-told and gripping. The insightful lessons are provided in the guise of this fantastic fable.  

Do you need guidance on coordinating multidisciplinary team strategies? Contact B State today.

As you observe Kathryn’s progress, Lencioni shows you in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team what cause teams to be in disarray. He defines a model and steps that any leader may use to defeat these dysfunctions to create a strong, united, productive team. The message of this book isn’t complicated but is still missed by many in business. If you want to build a high-performing team, this book is a must-read.

The Catalyst Effect: 12 Skills and Behaviors to Boost Your Impact and Elevate Team Performance

According to authors Jerry Toomer, Craig Caldwell, Steve Weitzenkorn, and Chelsea Clark, people who seem to elevate the performance of everyone they work with are called catalysts. These individuals can inspire and spark excellence in the performance and behavior of their entire team. 

The Catalyst Effect shows you the skills and behaviors necessary to lead effectively from what role you occupy. The reader is provided with 12 well-defined competencies that come from various fields – sports, business, the arts, and non-profit organizations. These principles will boost your team’s performance. 

You won’t just learn about the practice, but you’ll be shown how to use the catalytic competencies for maximum effect.

Collaborative Intelligence: Thinking with People Who Think Differently

According to Dawna Markova and Angie McArthur, Collaborative Intelligence is the measure of your ability to think with others for the benefit of all. It is fast becoming an essential professional intelligence as the landscape of business is changing. The old model of top-down leadership and hierarchies are no longer as effective in a new world where influence, collaboration, and inspiration are the new values.  

This book is the result of fifty years of original research, in part, in cognitive neuroscience. The authors are regarded as experts in getting people to think together, even when they are initially disjointed. They help teams to see and value the intellectual differences to minimize conflict. These differences include how we process information, frame questions, the things that deplete or energize us, and what inspires us. This book will show you how to notice your own thinking patterns and the talents of others. You’ll learn the way to get everyone on the same page of aligned courses of action and influence. 

Related: The Importance of Multidisciplinary Teams

Final Thoughts on High Perfoming Teams Books

If you’re ready to make your team a cohesive, productive unit of diversity, have a read of the above books. Benefit from the authors’ years of expertise and their unique insights and perspectives in bringing together brilliant groups of people who think very differently to create high-performing teams. 

Are your teams ready for a lasting, profitable change? Learn more at B State today. 

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