What is a High-Performance Team? The most important part of building a successful organization—whether you’re building a company from scratch, building a division within an existing company, or rebuilding an existing company in its entirety—is building what I call a high-performance team. I define this as the synergistic effect that you get when you put high-caliber people together who achieve at their peak potential, multiplied by the synergy you get when they’re working together as a team. Although a high-performance team is ultimately measured by the results it achieves, an essential part of such a team is having a strong set of ethical values. You can’t have a high-performance team without continually maintaining those values. A team may perform very well over the short term, and it may have talented people who work well together, but if that team does not have a high moral structure guiding it, the team is not a high-performance team and it will not be sustainable for the long haul. It sounds like it should be easy to build a high-performance team, but it’s not. Most companies fail because they can’t build such a team. In Silicon Valley, for example, 90% of start-ups don’t make it past their first year.