Project HR: Building High Performance Teams

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Project HR: Building High-Performance Teams

The goals of any corporation cannot be achieved by one person – it requires the skills and talents of many, unified in their efforts. In short, you need a team - but building a high-performance team demands great leadership, inspiration, and a plan for how to reach the finish line. On this episode of ProjectHR, we are joined by Tony Martignetti, the Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer with Inspired Purpose Coaching. Here, he explains:

  • What makes a team "high performing."
  • How utilizing unique metrics can better measure progress and performance;
  • The leader's role in supporting high performing teams; and
  • The best ways to manage high-performing teams in the wake of a success or a failure.

If you prefer to read along while you listen, we've done all the hard work for you! We listened back to this episode and took notes below, and access is free! 

Defining High-Performance Teams

  • “High performing” can have a different meaning to everyone.
  • A good way to define a high-performance team is one that achieves great results under pressure with limited resources while building and enhancing the culture of the individuals on the team. 
  • The overall goal must be focused on the team’s mission.

Coaching a High-Performance Team

  • Coaching a team to become better can be done even without total buy-in from the company, but there must be buy-in from the top. 
  • If what you are doing within your team creates the goal of becoming more successful; there needs to be a commitment to see the entire process through.
  • It is never too late for coaching to create high-performing teams within your company.
    • Even if your team is already in place, coaching can help that team build upon what they have already accomplished and start new trends that can even further improve the team’s performance. 

Benefits of Having a High-Performance Team

  • Having a high-performance team can lead to the team gaining better communication, increased trust, and higher efficiency and engagement.
  • There is a ripple effect within the company when a team is performing well. This means that other teams within the company will take notice of a particular team performing well and will want to elevate their own team to that same level of achievement. 

Transforming Our Teams

  • The first step is to start with the end in mind. When you begin your thinking with a final outcome in mind, it provides a clear goal that the team will be able to focus on.
  • The next step is to begin building the foundation of trust. It is impossible to achieve that end goal without a sense of trust within and around the team. 
    • Allowing people to make mistakes without fear of punishment or embarrassment is key to creating a network of trust within your team and will bring out the best in your team members.

Communication Within High-Performance Teams

  • Communication is the absolute key to the entire process of developing a high-performance team!
  • People must communicate early, often, and clearly and with no hidden agendas in order for your team to become highly successful. 
    • This is not always the easiest thing to develop, but once it has been developed, it will allow the team to run much smoother.

Team Members Understanding Their Role(s)

  • It is essential to find out what each team member wants to achieve throughout this process of working toward that end goal. 
  • Understanding the strengths of each person on the team and where people are aligned will help team members to work together better and ultimately achieve those end goals.
  • Often, people will feel like they need to have some element of control over the process in order to stay motivated to achieve the outcome their team is working toward. 
    • Team leaders need to be able to provide clarity on each team member’s role(s) in order for those team members to continue to be motivated.  


  • Competition is capable of being a motivator to employees. 
  • There are two different types of competition: healthy and toxic.
    • Healthy Competition is when people have mutual respect for each other and both parties understand what is at stake both individually and for the team as a whole. 
      • Healthy competition is a great way to keep your high-performance team members engaged and happy.
    • Toxic Competition is when people are butting heads, and there is a “winner” and  a “loser.” It is less friendly and more confrontational.

Measuring a Team’s Success

  • There are always the normal metrics of timelines and budgets, etc., but a better way to measure team success is by creating and utilizing unique metrics like: “How many “wins” have we had?” and “How many “failures” have we had?”
    • These are social metrics that allow team members to connect with each other and share a sense of pride in the work that they are doing and also how they can improve both individually and as a whole. 
    • On the outside, these unique metrics may not seem like something that drives results on paper, but to the members of the team, it serves as motivation to continue pushing toward that end goal. 
    • These metrics show how team members are communicating, connecting, and bonding. 

Successful Team Recognition & Rewards

  • It is good to have rewards because they allow people something to work toward but ensure that the rewards do not create any dissent or division between team members. 
  • It needs to be something that will incentivize instead of creating issues between team members.

The Leader’s Role in High-Performance Teams

  • The leader can sometimes get confused over what role they play within the team. 
  • When there are barriers to success for the team, leaders should be the ones to do everything in their power to remedy or remove those barriers in order to create a clear pathway to success for their team. 
  • Leaders are also responsible for keeping morale high, inspiring team members, and keeping things moving when projects begin to stall. 
    • When people stop sharing their excitement and the general emotional tone tends to drop, that is when leaders should look into team morale. 
    • Especially in the current workplace, where video meetings are increasingly common, it can be difficult to judge when morale may be dropping, so leaders should stay in tune with people professionally and personally. Asking how people are doing on a personal level is a good way for leaders to gauge someone’s morale both within the workplace and outside of it.
    • One of the best ways to improve morale is a “stop, start, and continue.” This involves stepping away from the project and taking a broader view of what is working, what isn't, and ways to improve moving forward. 
      • Recommitting to the mission is the final step in the “stop, start, and continue” should culminate all the work done when taking that broader view of the project and team’s efforts toward their goals. 
  • Leaders should also ensure communication is flowing.
    • This includes working with team members to communicate with them directly as well as facilitating communication between team members. 
    • This will ensure that there are a few stagnant periods as possible while the team works toward their goal.

What’s After the First Rush of Success?

  • Leadership can point out what has gone well and be specific about exactly what made that specific action or idea successful. 
    • This will give high-performance team members a sense of accomplishment while not overstepping the final goal at hand. This lets employees know that they are doing a great job, but the job isn't quite finished yet, and there is more success to be had. 
  • There should be a sense of continuous forward movement. Leaders should not let successes lead to a stagnant process.
  • Leaders should highlight all the steps and people necessary to achieve that success and encourage team members to remember all that it takes.
  • The same applies for failures.
    • Leaders should be able to communicate with team members in a way that the root of the failure can be pinpointed and noted so that moving forward, that error or situation can be remedied to turn that failure into a success. 
    • It is not about creating excuses; it is about moving forward so that the team can move on to the next challenge.

Inspired Purpose Coaching

  • Mr. Martignetti has a team coaching program in which he goes into a company and will help them.
    • One of his programs is called Inspired Strategy Sessions which is when he will help a company work through a strategy they are attempting to develop. This is usually a one-day program.
    • Another is Team Coaching, which is over a more extended period of time, and Mr. Martignetti will come in and help to develop that cohesiveness and team environment the company is looking to build in order to create a high-performance team for their organization. 
  • “The talent is in the room; I am just coming in to help guide them to success.”
  • Mr. Martignetti’s past roles in the business world have given him deep insight into how teams work together and the human dynamics within companies. 
    • These past roles help him to be able to differentiate the characteristics that can effectively develop a high-performance team and which characteristics tear them apart.
  • His company is Inspired Purpose Coaching, and its name comes from when Mr. Martignetti found his “inspired purpose” in team-building and coaching. His goal is to help others find their “inspired purpose.”
    • He looks to inspire people to see what they are truly passionate about and succeed through their passion. 

The Virtual Campfire

  • The Virtual Campfire is Mr. Martignetti’s podcast on which he brings in guests that have had unique paths to their current role, and those paths are highlighted by “flashpoints” that others can learn from. 
  • He encourages people to embrace their past, whether pleasant memories and experiences or not, in order to move forward. 
  • The Virtual Campfire Podcast

Tony Martignetti Backstory

  • B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Northeastern University
  • Certification for Economies in transition from the University of Helsinki
  • MBA with a concentration in International Business from Northeastern University
  • Mr. Martignetti is a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP).
  • Mr. Martignetti has previously worked for Sarepta TherapeuticsMomenta Pharmaceuticals, and Rhythm Pharmaceuticals as a Finance Executive at each company. 
  • Since working as a Finance Executive, Mr. Martignelli has become a Career Coach.
  • He is the founder and host of his podcast, The Virtual Campfire Podcast.
  • He is currently the founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of Inspired Purpose Coaching.



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