Insights- Elevate Your Team – Notes from the Book

10th December 2023

Posted in: Insights

Robert Glazer’s “Elevate Your Team” shares important lessons on how to maximise your teams potential and get the best out of each team member.

Capacity building is the method through which individuals seek, acquire and develop the skills and abilities to consistently perform at a higher level in pursuit of maximising their potential


“Knowledge is different from all other resources, it makes itself constantly obsolete so that today’s advance knowledge is tomorrow’s ignorance” – Peter Drucker


Characteristics of a top performer

  • Strong understanding of their strengths and weaknesses how to emphasise their strengths while minimising their weaknesses
  • Clear direction of their career aligned with personal goals
  • Voracious learner in a discipline executor
  • Consistently seek feedback to help them learn and improve
  • Intentional structure to the day with positive habits
  • Good physical and mental discipline including a morning routine and exercise time
  • Connect well with others take ownership of their actions aren’t afraid to be vulnerable in the right time


Every time you double your company size you will break 50% of your processes and 50% of your people

To avoid this it is important to think about an employees development trajectory relative to a companies growth curve.

Capacity building is a framework to build a team that grows with your business rather than ending up with a team trampled by your businesses growth.


  • Underperformers are people who start at the companies based on performance but don’t have the ability or desire to improve over time. As an employee’s role demands new and different skills the under performance shows more
  • Unicorns or stars are the highest level performer they grow faster than the company requires
  • A Players are is the right person in the right role at the right time are consistent a player or grow at the same rate as the company grows invited to higher levels as required

The capacity building zone is where the majority of employees for the people below the company growth line at a given moment


Spiritual Capacity

Understanding who you are what you want and the standards you live by- people with high spiritual capacity have a clear understanding of their purpose in life they call values their strengths and weaknesses.

  •  Personal core values –  what environment are you happy in, what qualities in others do you find most challenging,  what you want said about them in a eulogy, what roles of jobs have you done your best work, what help or advice do others come to you for,  when have you been disengaged?
  • Important for employees core values to be aligned with the businesses
  • Important to understand strengths and weaknesses – Clifton strengths assessment break strengths into strategic thinking influencing executing and relationship building
  • Understanding your why



Intellectual Capacity

How you think plan and execute with discipline. People with high intellectual capacity are the ones that seem to get more done in less time, achieve goals and build the skills needed, learn constantly and develop habits they need to stay on track.

  • Giving rising stars opportunities to learn constantly and helping employees learn new skills, better habits, achieve personal and professional goals,  learn from feedback and coach each other to improve
  • Many employees are stuck at the top of an S curve which is where they become bored or complacent
  • Create a culture of learning ie building an environment where everyone is encouraged to learn
  • Provide management and leadership training even to those not in management roles
  • Foster personal learning through things like book clubs, podcast recommendations and reimbursements for educational resources
  • Holistic discipline is the idea that those more disciplined in their personal life will also be in their work life eg encourage building routines and habits such as
    • Managing emails and turning off notifications
    • Time blocking or setting aside time for specific activities
    • Morning routines are important
  • Goal setting – smart goals and having people keep us accountable for them
  • Coaching and feedback- role-playing difficult conversations
  • Building a culture of feedback- building psychological safety, ensure feedback in situation or not personal,  avoid the compliment sandwich just provide honest feedback. Focus on situation behaviour and outcome
  • Learn to accept feedback have an open door policy.  Listen and don’t be defensive don’t focus on your response respond first with thank you


Physical Capacity

Your health well-being and physical performance. People with high physical capacity have built resilience and stamina needed to excel in stressful or challenging situations they manage their energy and can avoid burning out by working smarter not harder

  • Building buffers – create its stain boundaries between home and work life
    • Don’t brag about working long hours
    • Take time to unplug
    • Limit out of hour communications
    • Set clear deadlines
    • Incentivise desired behaviours
    • Encourage physical separation when working from home
    • Show don’t tell
  • Managing outcomes , not hours- Pareto principal – we spend 80% of our time on non essential activities.
    • Ideal number of goals for an org to have at one time is three.
    • Need to maximise the portion of workday spent on achieving important outcomes
  • Prioritising health –  A key driver of burnout is the inability to prioritise self-care and maintain healthy habits


Emotional Capacity

How you react to challenging situations and the quality of your relationships and your emotional mindset. People with high emotional capacity bring good perspective I’m not stressed or frustrated by setbacks, they work well with others and commands respect

High emotional capacity results in deep levels of trust open lines of communication and emotional resilience to remain strong in the face of challenges

  • Psychological safety allows teams to have productive conflict bring the best idea is openly disagree and assume everyone is rowing in the same direction
  • Johari window is made up of things that is open to you and to others, things that are hidden, what is known to you but unknown to others the blind spot what is known to others and things that are unknown to all.
  • The goal is to create a more open environment where a person has improved self-awareness and is also communicated their important needs strengths and weaknesses to others on the team.  The first ways to expand what we know and eliminate blind spots by seeking and accepting feedback- The second is to expand what others know and eliminate what is hidden through vulnerability and sharing
  • Important to share things such as
    • Personlity type
    • Core values
    • Why or purpose
    • Strengths and weaknesses
    • Commitment to team and expectations of team
    • Share learning from feedback


Better communication 

A person cannot work well with others if they expect everyone else to think and feel the exact same way about things that they do

Understand how people like to be communicated with adjust accordingly


Task competition occurs when a group of people disagree over ideas or opinions everyone is united against one problem even if they disagree on the solution

Relationship conflict occurs when these disagreements lead to personal animosity,  flared tempers or insults.


Pushing Limits

Basic ways of his people outside their comfort zone

  • Mix up group accompany event so they don’t gravitate towards the people they know well
  • Encourage discussion to not only be work related for your share personal stories as well
  • Expose Team to speaking to demonstrate vulnerability
  • Share your own stories of how your face challenges in vulnerability


Ownership agency and control

Organisations with high emotional capacity focus on what they do control and respond to adversity with resilience accountability and innovation

Ways to learn from mistakes:

  • Create an issue Laughlan
  • Use debrief reports
  • Ask for feedback

Mindset shift

If you don’t control it why worry about it because you don’t control it and if you do control it why worry about it because you control it


Capacity building and people management

  • How capacity affects who you bring into your organisation
  • How capacity building impacts who you elevate in higher roles
  • How to use capacity building to make sure you have the right career path’s in your organisation


People with faster and high attitude will eventually at perform lower capacity people with more experience

You should evaluate potential hires on whether they are likely to be accountable for outcomes you need them to achieve in the future not simply based on what they’ve accomplished in the past


Look for:

  • Promotion in place. – People who have advanced or been promoted within one organisation. Switching jobs can hide a lack of growth
  • Read assaults people i.e. those who have proven themselves in a wide range of roles project or skill sets

Drive to learn

Over performance on goals

Push not Pool- have they been headhunted by former colleagues

Personal grit- how they have worked hard in life to acheive something.


The challenge is being able to identify when someone within the team is ready to be promoted or making the hard call to bring somebody in above them


Ways to build better parts for individual contributors in your team

  • create senior individual contributor roles i.e. not a head of department but someone who is excelling in the discipline without Managing a team
  • Focus on outcomes
  • Compensate individual contributors fairly
  • Right people. Right seats


Building a path.

There is no success without succession

  1.  Star stifling – slow growing organisations where leaders see rising talent as a threat to their job.   Value tenure over talent.
  2. Catch and release- Invest in people and take pride in growth however eventually realise there rising stars have more opportunities in outside companies
  3. Pure meritocracy- some talent development but when they realise a rising star is a better fit than someone currently you are old they are unafraid to make a switch. The most talented qualified person in the moment gets the job.


The essence of true leadership is the ability to build up somebody with the intention of replacing you.


Author: Donna Bruce