The 5 C’s of Creating Championship Teams

“No single leader can any longer meet the demands placed on them and there is a growing recognition of the need for highly effective leadership teams” —Peter Hawkins

Most businesses are not harnessing anywhere close to the true potential of their people, and this lost productivity is costing millions. But now there is a way to not just stop this, but turn it around by tapping into the true talents of every person on your team, no matter the team size. The key in creating championship teams is to ensure everyone is engaged. When team members are engaged, they energise the business and deliver superior customer service, which in turn translates into increased profits.

Having worked with hundreds of teams, I have now decodified what it takes to create a high performance team—and the best news is that it doesn’t take months to achieve this. Success can be achieved in a matter of days or even hours when you get the correct building blocks in place.

This is the 5 C formula I use at catering events to create championship teams of servers that more than meet the clients' expectations.


Ensure everyone in the team knows why this team has been created and what they are going to be doing. If the team is working for a client, then explain any challenges the client has and be transparent about where the possible pitfalls lie. For example, at a recent event, I learned the client’s company was about to be taken over and the organiser's jobs were at risk of redundancy. Knowing this meant that the team could understand how the organiser’s behaviour was a reflection of her situation, and they could seek to reassure her that everything would be great. For me, setting the right context is the single most important part of creating a championship team, as everything hinges on this.


Team members need clarity. They need to know the rules of the game and what is expected of them. They need to know what behaviours are encouraged and which are inappropriate. This is the time when you are crystal clear on what game you are playing, and effectively set the boundaries and map out the playing field that you will be working in. Use simple, easy-to-understand language so there is no confusion or misunderstanding; better still, have the team members give feedback to you about what they understand. Getting clarity on roles and responsibilities helps build accountability and ensures that team members take ownership for their actions.


Great relationships underpin the success of any team, so ensure you allow time to get to know the team members and for the team to get to know each other. The stronger the bonds within the team, the more they will support and cover each other—and in doing so, work more collaboratively together.


Always ensure that each team member understands how their role contributes to the success of the team. This will enable them to have more pride in what they are doing and see how their part fits into the overall purpose of the activity. Give every team member a voice and ask for their input. There are always multiple ways to achieve a task, and just because we have done it that way in the past does not make it the best solution for the future.


Team members value feedback—especially positive feedback—so make sure to thank people for the job they have done, and don’t just do it at the end of the day. Rather, provide feedback and praise throughout the day. I am always shocked by how little praise I hear other leaders give their team members. And then celebrate when things go well. Reinforce the positives throughout the day, so team members go home motivated to return the next day, not because they have to but because they enjoyed the experience.

I’d love to hear how this 5-step process works for you in creating a championship team that is highly effective and productive and operates harmoniously and collaboratively.

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