What Makes a Team Successful? The Skill of Managing Opportunity

By Glenn Llopis

Team Management

Every company needs high performing teams in order to be successful. What Makes a Team Successful? The Skills of Managing Opportunities. Here's a summary of the four skills that are essential for creating a high performing team.

What Makes a Team Successful? The Skill of Managing Opportunity

In order to be successful, every company needs high performing teams. These teams are able to take advantage of every opportunity and are always working toward the common goal. However, creating a high performing team is not always easy. It takes time, effort, and commitment from everyone involved.

High performing teams inevitably include people who make the most of every opportunity.

What Makes a Team Successful? The Skill of Managing Opportunity

Managing opportunity is a skill that can be learned, developed, practiced and improved.

The momentum we create for ourselves in our lives and careers comes from how we manage opportunity: we see it, we sow it, we grow it, and we share it. These are the four skills of opportunity management, which I explain in more detail in my first book, Earning Serendipity.

Here’s a summary of those four skills, which are the essential characteristics of a high performing team.

  1. Forward-Thinking (Seeing): You have the keen ability to see around, beneath and beyond what others don’t. You have circular vision and are open-minded to embrace new ideas and ideals. You enjoy exploring the strategic ramifications of the bigger picture and push their teams from falling into the traps of complacency.

  2. Execution-Minded (Sowing): You roll up your sleeves and sow the opportunities beyond what you are told to do inside the box you are given. You search for endless possibilities to exceed expectations all the way through to the end. You are passionate about getting the work done, moving onto the next task to ensure the team is highly efficient.

  3. Momentum-Building (Growing): You drive change that disrupts the status-quo and enjoy pushing the envelope to seize opportunities previously unseen. You are in search of continuous improvement and new ways of doing things that lead to results and apply strategic focus to ensure the team is constantly evolving.

  4. Significance-Seeking (Sharing): You strive to multiply success into something more significant, purposeful, and meaningful that sustains itself throughout the test of time. You are the consummate team player creating impact and outcomes that reverberate throughout the organization. You are motivated to add-value to your teams but also to the broader ecosystem of teams throughout the enterprise.

These four skills also are the focus of an assessment GLLG conducts regularly with hundreds of people at various organizations (and thousands of people over time). In this case the questions are designed to help people determine how well they execute each of those four skills so they can improve their ability to create and sustain a momentum of opportunity.

Over the years we’ve seen that people are most comfortable when they are being told what do to. In other words, they’re most comfortable with the skill of sowing. There is minimal risk in that. When assigned a task, given a special project, or asked to execute a plan, employees who take direction well will work to get the job done. They keep sowing, sowing, sowing according to someone else’s standards—and rarely learn how to see, share, and grow. This is a comfortable place to be, for both workers and managers: to have people just doing what they’re told.

But this is not necessarily the way we want to be all the time, for our entire careers as individuals or as members of a team. We only transform into high performing teams once we elevate each team member beyond sowing to also excel at seeing, growing and sharing opportunity.


Think you have the skills to see, sow, grow, and share? Take my organization's assessment to measure the prevalence of these four work styles in yourself and on your team. If you score above 36, you have the right mindset to build high-performance teams. Below 36 and you may think you are embracing inclusive leadership but you’re probably not.

Join our leadership training programs today. We can help you unleash the power of your team and achieve great things together.