Tuckman's Four Stages of Team Development

How Tuckman’s Four Stages of Team Development Apply to YOU

This past week, I was listening to our Pastor share a sequence of insights about Tuckman’s 4 Stages of Team Development that were downright revealing. In the context of taking “extreme ownership” of our lives, which is a concept I am quite familiar with; he was talking about commitment in our relationships.

It didn’t matter what kind of relationship— to your body, your life, your lifestyle, your spouse, your work…

Now, as the founder of a lifestyle company that is helping people bridge the wide gap that exists between living healthy and being successful with Performance Lifestyle training, I am always on the lookout for complementary ideas that are process oriented.

By that, I mean ideas that explain natural processes the can help people gauge the phase of development they are in.

Well, in making his point about commitment and why a commitment to anything can be challenging, our pastor again, introduced us to Tuckman’s 4 stages of team development model. Originally created for team development, I noticed how these stages are experienced personally in just about everything we do.

For example, we’re going through these stages right now with the development of Performance Lifestyle Inc, internally in terms of the development, management, and operations of a new type of company that is conveying a whole lifestyle model for human performance, and not simply focused on just nutrition, or fitness, or sleep, which are very common in the market.

We are also working with customers and clients who are taking our new training, utilizing our coaching and consumables to optimize the way they live.

Needless to say, that’s a pretty tall order, but we feel a necessary one which is why I started the project, to begin with for personal and professional reasons. The forming of it has taken a great deal of energy, time and money to say the least and I can tell you there has been a lot of storming. 😉

It’s our primary aim to help our customers and clients learn how to live with optimal energy levels, healthy and capable of performance at higher levels—finally free of the hidden lifestyle challenges. And doing so with the PL approach I’ve been developing with a lot of help from some very smart people for more than 20 years as an in-the-game entrepreneur suffering but wanting to overcome the same lifestyle challenges.

When I heard the stages I thought how complimentary they were for people going through The 3 Levels of Lifestyle Transformation that all everyone goes through as we go to the “next level.” 

The 3 Stages of Lifestyle Transformation

Here are Tuckman’s 4 stages. How might these apply to your life? 

  1. Forming High dependence on leader for guidance and direction.Think about how challenging it can be just to learn a new way of eating, let alone developing a whole new lifestyle. 
  2. Storming— Decisions don’t come easily within the group.  Your don’t yet have your head wrapped around all the facts, or methods essential to your success, so this creates fear, doubt, indecision, and conflict as you’re just getting things working. 
  3. Norming— Agreement, and consensus largely forms among the team,As you start “firing on all cylinders,” with a degree of proficiency, you start getting more functional and things smooth out.  
  4. Performing— The team is more strategically aware; the team knows clearly why it is doing what it is doing.You now know what to do, why you’re doing and how to do it, so you do it, at the right level and intensity, consistently. 

These stages apply to top business professionals, athletes, anyone, in any profession, male, female, at every age…

Now think about how Tuckman’s four stages apply to you personally and professionally in your living proficiency (lifestyle) including how you work? Do you know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and how, so you do it?

That would be the performing stage.  Are you there?

Or, are you in a forming stage where you are understandably following someone else; storming where you are struggling with something new like making a lifestyle change (up-leveling some aspect of how you live) or in the norming phase where you are not quite as quick on the uptake as you know you care capable of, but you understand your present situation, and the stage you’re in, well enough, to arrive at a good decision. 

Don’t worry about being in the Performing stage if you’re not. What you want to worry about is thinking you’re in the performing stage, when you’re really in the forming or storming stage. This is a treacherous place to be because you’re expectations are higher than your energy, ability, and capacity can achieve.

Performance addicts can find themselves living in that place, for at least a period of time. I know this first hand.

The key here is understanding your present situation to know what “level” or phase you’re at so that you can honor the stage you’re in, and be ok with that, with the struggle because the struggle is one thing, being at odds with struggle, thinking you shouldn’t be, is another.

Why is that so important? It’s simple. You don’t want to enter Tuchman’s fifth stage when it comes to your commitment unless it’s a short-term project that would naturally adjourn.

    5. Adjourning is when things end. We see this all the time in lifestyle fields, for example, increasing energy (overcoming fatigue), eating healthier (losing weight, reversing disease, improving health) and exercise (getting in better physical condition). People give up all the time (adjourn) prematurely, thinking they should be experiencing desired results overnight or faster than is normal or natural.

In reality, they are just in an early stage of transformation and they would get the result if they just allowed them to go through the stages will inevitably take them to the level of results they want.


It’s a beautiful thing when you’re performing!

The Impact of Fatigue on Business Professionals

The names in this case study have been changed for purposes of anonymity.

This is the story of Julie, a driven academic with entrepreneurial capacity and her story of fatigue, how it affected her in real life and what she started to do about it:

“I always really enjoyed setting challenging intellectual and professional goals. Striving to achieve them became the core of my lifestyle and I liked it that way. From time to time, my drive to perform at my best level drove me to exhaustion so my early life was characterized by cycling through long periods of deep engagement and high achievement followed by periods of disengagement and relative solitude.

My preference has always been toward meeting intellectual and organizational challenges which ultimately turned me into a talking head, meaning I could tackle almost any challenge but I was almost completely detached from the needs of my body.

When my mother became chronically ill in 1999, it fell mostly to me to come through for her, financially, emotionally, and physically.  My sister moved home from Boston to help with my mother’s care in our home. It turned out to be an eighteen month, around-the-clock, wouldn’t-have-done it-any-other-way-but-wow-it-was-awful-and-beautiful, time of our lives.  At that time, I had just begun my doctoral studies. I made a quick switch from a full-time job to a management consulting practice so that I could be more available for my mother’s home care.

Within the years of her long illness, midlife changes and challenges made it even more difficult to move forward even just one step at a time.  Even so, I felt I had to keep the three of us afloat financially and with the additional and extraordinary medical bills, I saw no other choice but to sustain a high level of consulting practice, finish my degree, and take care of my mom all on just a few fitful hours of sleep each night.  I was literally running on adrenaline all the while I was performing extremely well in my work, my degree and my family responsibilities; all done by sheer force of will.

I knew I was tired, but what I didn’t realize then was that I was a lot more than just tired; I was deep into energy debt also known as biological or sleep debt) with a body that was breaking down around it.  My thoughts were racing all the time so it took a lot of effort to focus them on doing my work.  Restorative sleep was a distant memory. Taking time away was out of the question. I began withdrawing from personal relationships; I was just too tired.  Any suggestion that I take care of myself or take the time to relax just felt like one more thing I did not have the energy to do. My focus narrowed to what I felt I had to get done. The consequences of my not getting absolutely everything done right, seemed enormous – when only one of my responsibilities (the care of my mother) carried serious consequences if I withdrew from my responsibilities.

I also didn’t realize that the grief over my mother’s approaching death and my refusal to fail in any of my self-imposed responsibilities was masking the fact that I was literally sacrificing my own vitality to sustain performance at this level.  As I look back on it now, I realize that it was my valiant efforts to avoid the reality of my own limitations that ultimately did me in – big time – and for a long time.

On one hand, I felt more alive than ever as I walked these final months with my mother and achieved the highest level of academic and professional success I had to that point of my life. On the other hand, I began to wonder more and more if I was going to survive my mother’s terminal illness.

What I now realize is that the first nail in my energy-coffin was that I did not even have the energy it took to disengage from the life-and-death drama that was unfolding right in front of me long enough for me to correct course.  I suffered panic attacks during that time. Thankfully I knew enough about panic attacks (I’m also trained as a counselor) to interpret this frightening event as a wake-up call from my neglected body. The message was loud and clear: either I make the choice to stop placing these heavy energy demands on myself and my body or my body-mind and brain would make it impossible for me to move forward in my life and work.

Just after this happened in 2002, I made the decision to start studying both eastern and western systems of energy management in earnest. I selected it as my dissertation topic which enabled me to give this study sustained attention with the writing of my Ph.D. dissertation 

In the dissertation, I dove deeply into the workings of our personal energy systems as they relate to work performance.  I made it my goal to understand exactly how we bring our energies fully present into our work and into our whole lives and to understand it from as many different perspectives as my mind could grasp. This itself took a great deal of energy.

I decided to use my own worn-down energy system to test the methods and approaches I was learning about in my research and that I was hearing about in the field of energy management.   I wanted to viscerally feel the changes and challenges of the energy management systems I was exploring. I entered five years of training in eastern energy practices.  I grew in appreciation for our western approaches to health and wellness.  I continue to practice the skills I learned from all these systems of energy management daily and often on a moment-by-moment basis using quick check-ins and small, easy adjustments throughout the day. I also continue my research in the areas of personal energy and human performance particularly in the workplace and in leadership.

There are four lessons I bring forward with me from these experiences.

  1. First, I learned to observe my energy status frequently and to notice energy-debt in myself and take quick action to restore myself back to my energy system’s natural set-point. If that means creating space in my calendar, that’s what it means. If that means just giving myself some time to restore from excess stress, that’s what it means.
  2. Second, I learned and remain committed to practicing the skill of strategic disengagement. This skill is essential to our ability to cultivate insight, creativity, and innovation in our personal, social and organizational lives, as well as to renewing the body, mind and our spirit.  Because this topic is so expansive, John Allen goes in depth into energy debt in part one of Performance Living 101.
  3. Third, the lesson that led me to see our body as an energy system is that whole-life performance and quality of life are dependent on my having accurate information about my personal energy; and knowing that I have access to an abundance of energy from which to live and work is paramount.
  4. Fourth, but not final, my research and practice have taught me that information and energy, in fact, form the central core of all that lives.  From our genes to our cells, to our organizational systems, to the universe, we find the basic structural formula of I + E = L information and energy equals Life.

It was only after I finished my Ph.D., and met John Allen Mollenhauer that the lessons I had learned from my ten-year study of personal energy management crystallized into one idea ie. Performance Lifestyle.  

In the meantime, my academic schedule as a professor has continued to elevate, and as you can imagine I’ve learned not to push it too hard. So, I share this all to let you know how important it is to know how to live a performance lifestyle because essential defines what living in balance… is all about.

Your body is a Powerhouse, even if you don’t feel like it right now. It generates and regenerates energy extremely well under the right conditions and this is the balance point you must master. You need to know about this else all other definitions of balance fail. It’s vital for you to understand how you can harness, maintain and manage your energy.

If you are interested in energy, health and performance and a driven business professional, learn from my hard-earned insights. With what you’ll learn here at Performance Lifestyle, you will soon have that roadmap to start and gauge your success.

John Allen Mollenhauer and a slew of highly credentialed Advisors I’m aware of has in fact put brought together the never-before-assembled formula for optimal energy and performance, lifestyle management. I hope you will take it to heart and put it in play. Not only will it help you avoid the premature downward spiral that starts with exhaustion and fatigue and can get much worse; it will save you decades of time and give rise to a new lifestyle so you can achieve your goals in a way that does not compromise your life, health, and wellbeing.

Good luck.




The Stress of Hidden Lifestyle Challlenges

3 Hidden Challenges That Stress, Distract and Hold You Back

In Performance Lifestyle® Training, we talk about the stress of hidden lifestyle challenges frequently. They are the shadow side of the fundamentals of successful living: essentials skills (or habits) we all need to know if we’re going perform, look, and feel like a pro. That is someone who is proficient and skillful at navigating life so they can achieve even their most ambitious goals while living in balance with vibrant health and peace of mind.

A hidden lifestyle challenge is an underlying dynamic or stress in your life that causes compounding distress and distraction and takes your attention away from what is most important.

You know something is wrong, but you can’t quite put your finger on the cause or solve the problem, even though you are doing what all the popular books and usual authorities tell you to do, like eat less, exercise regularly, and get more sleep. You are suffering from a hidden lifestyle challenge.

Most of the challenges people suffer from are hidden, particularly for those of us who have a lot of responsibility and put out a great deal of personal energy. It is common for driven people to cope with stress in ways that create more stress, cover up the original causes of the stress, and struggle with performance addiction.

These challenges aren’t usually solved with popular tactics that focus on the symptoms. For example, the symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, and atrophy (deconditioning) are not solved by simply getting you to boost energy, lose weight, and build muscle. There are several lifestyle factors at play in each of these conditions, and it takes a lifestyle change to sustain improvements.

It’s no surprise that the health and fitness fields typically focus on specific issues; in particular, low energy, increased weight, and lack of muscle tone. These are easy to target symptoms of a lifestyle gone awry because you can see that there’s a problem when there are too little energy and muscle and too much weight. Yet, the root cause of the problem is hidden and almost always the result of a series of unresolved lifestyle challenges that conspire to produce undesired consequences.

Despite how much discussion surrounds eating, exercising, and sleeping, the source of such challenges is typically well hidden and confusing to untangle, especially if you or the person you are taking advice from is only competent in one or more of these common aspects of lifestyle.

We’ll focus on these three popular aspects of lifestyle for the purposes of helping you understand what it takes to resolve a hidden lifestyle challenge.

Hidden Lifestyle Challenge #1: The Stress of Fatigue

In our modern, fast-paced world, fatigue is a persistent challenge. You have so many demands on your time and energy that the busier you get, the less space you have, to take care of yourself, your body, and your life. This will no doubt result in fatigue.

Fatigue is caused by living over your edge. For starters, it’s spending more energy than your body is recuperating.

You work hard to squeeze in the latest health tips, you nap or meditate occasionally, and you strive to get to bed earlier. But you still aren’t waking up fresh each day and you are constantly tired.

This is no small matter. In fact, this is probably the biggest challenge you’ll face because everything else you do in life depends on having enough energy to do it well and sustain it. This includes living healthfully.

There are 3 types of stress.

  1. The biology of stress—think circadian rhythms, light, hormones, stress…
  2. The stress created by reacting to stressors in ways that create more stress—think lifestyle.
  3. The stressors we experience in our external world that we don’t control and or don’t know how to handle—think family, professional, social life etc.

The hidden lifestyle challenge resulting in increased stress is fatigue. In Performance Lifestyle training, it’s essential that you learn how to overcome fatigue and it’s misinterpretation by learning the biology of energy, how to stop coping with stress in ways that create more stress for sure, and optimize your lifestyle skills so that you can better handle stressors.

The primary solution for overcoming this hidden lifestyle challenge is learning how to regenerate your life force energy as an essential lifestyle skill.

Hidden Lifestyle Challenge #2: The Stress of Eating Nutrient-Poor Food

With the way food is marketed today, even a product that is rich in just one nutrient will often be branded as a healthy food. Many of us are eating up to 50% of foodstuffs that are man-made, with ingredients that are considered healthy or acceptable in food (culturally or economically). But they aren’t healthy.

On top of that, almost 40% of the “natural” foods we eat, we consume at levels that are too high (think animal products). These are natural foods that are rich in some nutrients but still nutrient poor.

If you have spent much of your life thinking you are eating healthy when you aren’t, the substandard nutrition in your diet could be causing issues with cravings, addictions, and overeating.

The hidden lifestyle challenge causing stress is eating a nutrient-poor diet. In Performance Lifestyle training, it is critical that you learn how to nourish your body so it can provide you with the energy you need to move through the day.

The primary solution for overcoming this hidden lifestyle challenge is learning how to eat nutrient-rich whole foods.

Hidden Lifestyle Challenge #3: The Stress of Being Busy but Physically Inactive

Your body manifests the stress you are enduring in your life in either a constructive way or a destructive way. This depends on the kind of stress you experience and how ready your body/brain is to adapt to the stress. But you can’t know your true condition until you apply stress to your physical body in a conditioning capacity.

In a performance lifestyle, there are few activities more important than being physically active. It is only when you are in a physical performance situation that you can understand your true condition and get accurate feedback.

If you are living a physically inactive life, you are not alone. Many people struggle to get enough exercise or overestimate how active they are. When you start conditioning your body, you’ll really begin up leveling your lifestyle.

The hidden lifestyle challenge causing stress is a lack of physical conditioning. In Performance Lifestyle training, it is important that you learn how to give your body the strength and power it needs to perform.

The primary solution for overcoming this hidden lifestyle challenge is learning how to activate and strengthen your body.

Keep in mind that physical activity is not solely responsible for strengthening your body. Without resolving Hidden Lifestyle Challenges #1 and #2, you’ll be exercising a fatigued body that isn’t fueled properly, and you won’t see the results you want. So this is why we’re giving rise to a whole new lifestyle, corner stoned by the understanding that regeneration and fueling an activated and strengthened body are fundamental skills for living in today’s performance culture.

Getting Started

There are twelve hidden lifestyle challenges that compound stress in our lives and prevent us from handling difficulties in an authentic, resilient, and renewable way. We offer corresponding lifestyle solutions to each challenge.

In Performance Lifestyle training, we address each essential solution in a lifestyle context and in a way that’s relevant, meaningful, and actionable. We also use the inspiration of athletics so you can relate to a segment of the population where lifestyle is directly linked to performance and success.

Start developing your performance lifestyle today by signing up for Module #1: Regenerate Your Life Force Energy