The Genesis of Team Quotient

Fate is funny. When I began my corporate career over 30 years ago as an aspiring and ambitious professional, the furthest thing from my mind was consulting on High Performance Teams. However in 1998 when I was appointed Vice President of Sales for PepsiCo Greater China Region, I fell into the position of having to build a team from scratch. I was given the mandate to build the function from ground up. Within five years, I had successfully built a High Performing Team, with minimal staff turnover.

It was during those years that I developed a passion and discovered a talent for building and nurturing teams. It was also during those years that I caught a glimpse of what was possible for other companies to accomplish. Among other things, I discovered how a winning team can do so much more than a leader can accomplish alone, and how a High Performance Team is a rare, yet potent phenomenon that can impact not only business, but the lives and experiences of the team’s members.

In 2003, after five years at PepsiCo Greater China Region, I decided to plunge into the abyss and consult with organizations on how to build High Performance Teams. In so doing, I left behind all the trappings and comfort of the executive lifestyle. I had lots of ideas and experience in building teams, yet was unsure, on a practical basis, how to begin team consulting, the field being wide open with few role models.

Ten years earlier, I had attended a corporate program conducted by Marshall Goldsmith, one of the fathers of executive coaching. Marshall provoked me with, “Douglas, what are you doing in corporate? Everything I see from your assessment shows you’d be a great coach!” At the time, I laughed off Marshall’s prodding, but ten years later I found my niche as a team coach, encouraging leadership teams to commit to high performance.

After years of working with hundreds of teams, I realized that High Performance Teams possess certain traits or attributes that make them excel. These traits can be measured and tracked over time through what I call “Team Quotient.” The formula works. It is repeatable and provable. Develop the right attributes and your team will move to high performance.

So how did TQ or Team Quotient come about? In my work with teams, a few years ago, I was reflecting on the fact that we as human beings like to measure everything. We have IQ, EQ, and now even SQ. One morning the thought occurred to me, “why not TQ”? Then something amazing happened; that afternoon I was coaching an executive from Cathay Pacific Airways, chatting about team effectiveness and how to measure it. My client out of the blue said, “yes what we really need is TQ”. My morning thought turned out to be an afternoon reality! The rest is history, and now we have a proven, full blown program around Team Quotient.

Can your team catch the TQ wave?


Douglas Gerber is Founder and CEO of Focus One, a consulting firm that helps leaders create High Performance Teams.After 23 years as a corporate executive, he developed a reputation for building successful teams. Later, as a consultant, he has personally worked with leaders from over 70 companies to develop their own winning Teams. Drawing from his own extensive background and 10 years of research, Douglas innovated the concept of “Team Quotient” (TQ). He is a thought leader in the area of team transformation. Learn more about Douglas and his upcoming book Team Quotient: How to Build High Performance Leadership Teams that Win Every Time on

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