There’s a strange, intangible element in the most successful teams.

Something that lies beyond the control of management and culture specialists. Something that dwells purely within each team member. Something which often goes unspoken but elevates a team to even greater heights.

We’ve talked about what makes a high-performing team before.

To recap briefly, researchers have discovered some common traits of high-performing teams and their individual team members:

They have a shared vision
They trust each other
They work well together
They feel connected
They’re encouraged to take risks
They’re accountable
They follow effective systems and processes

All makes sense.

Now, to the thing that’s not seen on this list, but I’ve felt whenever I’ve been in the presence of truly great teams.

Under duress, and particularly during COVID-19, the teams I’ve seen cope best have done so on the back of each person’s empathy, compassion, kindness and altruism.

To me, these virtuous characteristics can collectively be described as spirituality.

As a leader, it’s impossible to instruct an individual to love their fellow human.

But a team’s culture and environment can be shaped to give spirituality a chance to thrive.

In sporting and corporate worlds this approach is gaining traction.

A spiritual culture fosters meaningful work and a strong community. It gives people a sense of purpose, perspective and peace.

In times of uncertainty and change, spirituality can relieve us from the unnecessary, materialistic wants and provides us with an understanding of life’s greater purpose.

With that mindset, people are free to achieve.

Dr. David Buttifant is a high-performance coach and founder of Resilience Builders.

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