Come Rain or Shine Episode 250 Scott Whiteford Creating High Performance Teams“Believing in your team members and treating them as professionals increases their productivity, engagement, and satisfaction.”

Scott Whiteford is a passionate sociologist that has always been fascinated by the intricate interactions between people and their environment. His journey in studying leadership began during his time with strengths-based management organization, Talent Plus. Through his experiences, Scott gained valuable insights into team dynamics, understanding the significance of trust, communication, and accountability within a team.

While many leaders may focus on skills and experience, Scott emphasizes the importance of investing time in understanding and nurturing individual strengths. This ultimately creates a well-rounded and successful team. During our conversation he shares many of his insights and experiences around the power of strength management.

In this episode, we discuss why it is important to:

  • Establish unwavering trust, open communication, and resolute accountability to forge a robust team.
  • Construct a resilient team culture by promoting shared understanding and collaboration among members.
  • Optimize talent acquisition and retention by recognizing and leveraging employee strengths.
  • Cultivate a high-performing team through effective delegation and embracing diverse perspectives.
  • Realize the critical role effective leadership plays in propelling team success and fostering innovation.

If you’re feeling frustrated and overwhelmed that all the effort you are putting into building trust, communication, and accountability within your team is not translating to high-performance results, then you are not alone.  It takes hard work to understand the people on your team and their unique strengths. Just remember that an investment in them is what will set them on the path to success.

“The war for talent shouldn’t be focused on the war for knowledge, skills, and experience, it should be focused on the war for talent, on the people who can deliver.”

Episode Highlights:


Are leadership skills innate or learned? Scott explains why it is a combination of both nature and nurture.


Dan shares the four attributes of great leaders that he and Valorie Cockerell identified: leading yourself first, role modeling, enthusiasm, and open-mindedness.


Scott shares his concept of the Mercedes Benz Star and emphasizes the importance of focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses.


Understanding the importance of your team’s strengths and how to strategically assign projects to get the best out of them.


Focusing on strengths in management is crucial to building a successful team. It allows for diversity in skills and individualized investment in each team member’s development. This approach makes it easier for companies to attract and retain talent by defining a strong culture, investing in employees, and individualizing the investment for each team member.


Instead of focusing on a team member’s weaknesses, leaders should focus on their strengths. Spending too much time on low performers can lead to a smaller return on investment and less investment in high performers, who have the mobility to seek other opportunities if they feel undervalued.

{00:19:39} Invest in People, Companies often claim they don’t have the resources to invest in their employees, but they’re choosing not to. Investing in people means looking for employees with a natural propensity for the job and developing them from there. This approach to talent acquisition and development avoids adverse impact on age, race, gender, and LGBTQ+ status.


Treating employees like professional athletes means that leaders should know each individual’s strengths and place them in the right position. With the right development, every employee can become a professional, increasing their productivity, engagement, and satisfaction in the company.


Excellence Wins by Horst Schulze

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