At the top level of high performance, there is constant pressure to achieve success.

In the pursuit of success, there is likely to be more than one ‘good’ performance plan. Success can be viewed through a number of different prisms, can be defined in very different ways, and can be achieved through a range of approaches.

Leadership styles can be formal (bestowed through job title or position) or more informal (such as the role of influencers) but it is the leader who sets the values and principles of work that will fundamentally mark the direction of the project. The vision for a project – and the path to success – will be determined by the leader.

The identity of that leader, or leaders, is significant. There are, for example, world-renowned teams whose organizational values outweigh the aura of the individual. These include the New Zealand All Blacks, the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs or, more recently, English Premier League champions Manchester City. They are known for being winners and have what is widely regarded as a ‘great culture’. Yes, they have or have had charismatic leaders, whether it’s players, coaches or managers, but there is no single individual on these teams who is bigger than the team and their pursuit of success.

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