#TheGouge: High-Performance Teams with Jesko von den Steinen



Rapidly adapting, always working towards a greater common good, and taking care of the person in front of you. Jesko shares his thoughts on high-performance teams based on his experience with Cirque du Soleil.


Welcome back to #TheGouge with Ponch and Cujo. I'm Cujo, and I'm back with Jesko von den Steinen. This time he's going to talk to us a little bit about high-performance teams.


So, I was performing many years with Cirque du Soleil, and, in this context, we’re always working on trying to create the best show, every possible, every night, 10 times a week. And, of course, high-performance teams, it’s a big idea. But what I notice is that, in fact, they don’t exist. The idea of high-performance teams – it’s not a static process. Something that when your life is dependent upon it, which we are when acrobats are flying 20, 20-some meters in the air, and they’re being caught on a small mat, I trust my life with that guy who’s holding that mat. And, it’s not about being high-performance, it’s about always rapidly adapting in the situation. And if you have that hunger to always be at the precipice of your ability, that will naturally lend itself to a high-performing team.


So, don’t worry about being high-performing. Worry about catching the guy on the mat – but worry about just doing the job well and always actively being paying attention and taking care of the guy in front of you. If you’re doing that, there’s a good chance you’ll be high-performing. And if something goes wrong, well then you deal with it. Because you know what? Three hours is another show. So, wallowing in your misery or you’ve screwed up, that’s a waste of time. So, yeah, it happened. Move on. How do we ameliorate? How do we get better?


So, wrapping up, high-performance teams – misnomer. Rapidly adapting, always working towards a greater common good, and taking care of the person in front of you. Focusing on that – that’s what will get you to this notion of high-performance teams.


Thanks, Jesko. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the gouge.

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