Dedicated, focused, and selfless teams have led organizations of every kind out of crisis—and they’ll keeping doing so. They always have a talented, transformative leader at the helm. Yet ultimately, it’s the teams that generate the results needed for their organization to move beyond crisis—including creative solutions for surmounting tough challenges.

But what is a team, exactly? It’s a small number of people (fewer than, say, 20) who demonstrate distinctive characteristics. For instance, they possess complementary knowledge and skills, rely extensively on one another to achieve their mission, and see themselves as accountable for the team’s collective performance.

What our analysis suggests: Transformative leaders can build a high-performance team by attending to three core components:

  • Talent—Put the right people in the right roles. Seek out individuals who have the knowledge and skills required to help the company achieve its most important goals. Look for the right attitudes—such as being motivated just as much by others’ success as by their own and embracing the company’s core values.
  • Leadership—Mobilize the team to deliver results. Understand the strategic direction the organization wants to take, and communicate it clearly to the team. Inspire members to contribute to the effort by knowing what most motivates each person. Knit them together in ways that leverage their complementary strengths. And focus them on activities that deliver the most valuable business results.
  • Dynamic—Create a culture of excellence. Encourage behaviors that nurture healthy dynamics in team members’ relationships with each other and in their interactions with other functions in the organization, along with its policies, customers, and product or service offerings.

By building and leading high-performance teams, transformative leaders help their organizations emerge stronger than ever after a crisis—as well as sustain that performance far into the future.