The Serenity of the Self-Regulating Team

I suspect many team leaders wished they had smaller or no teams – it might make their workplace more peaceful.

In my experience, those team leaders are really seeking is a self-regulating team.

One that is motivated by their team leader and capable of self-regulating their behaviour, performance and results – without the leader having to constantly step in to rechart the course.

The characteristics of high-performing teams are commonly described as:

  • outperform competition;

  • are consistent;

  • have high resilience;

  • exceed the expectations of stakeholders.

But two critical characteristics that are not sufficiently emphasised are (1) accountability and (2) awareness.

Accountability and awareness are the hallmarks of a self-regulated team. And I’ve never known a strongly self-regulated team not also high-performing.

I’m a big fan of Patrick Lencioni’s model of dysfunctional teams which calls for trust as the foundation for teams. Furthermore, Lencioni describes accountability as the most common pitfall for teams.

So what can team leaders do to build accountability and awareness of performance?

You’ve got to know your people. Not just their skills, but their motivators – what gets them energised, enthused and engaged about their role and their work.

Once the team members are truly understood, leaders can more effectively motivate people to be truly committed to the team’s purpose.

And hey presto! Suddenly a committed team is ready to be accountable for their behaviour and wants to keep the score.

Serenity is a state that only team leaders committed to their people will experience.


If you are interested in improving your team’s performance, please contact Craig.



Manie Stephens