I am blessed with an amazing team. I love working with the team of leaders I serve with. The scriptures tell us that one can send a thousand to flight, but two can send ten thousand to flight. (Deut. 32:30) There is spiritual power released through healthy teamwork.
Fred Smith in his book Learning to Lead says; “The secret of any organization’s success is choosing the right people to play key roles. Teams that just happen get happenstance results.” Many in the business community speak of getting the right persons on the bus and then the right persons on the right seats on the bus. This is a key to healthy teamwork. Every person on the team needs to be competent and confident in the role that they have.
Young leaders must be taught the four commonalities needed for a healthy team to function properly. It took me many years to learn this. The four commonalities for a team to function well together are having a common vision, common values, common procedure and healthy relationships. When team members function as they should—with common vision, common values and common procedures—they are operating from a place of security and love for each other and a common focus so healthy relational teamwork can happen.
Members on a team must have common vision to be effective. This means they must all know where they are headed and be in agreement with this direction. But they must also have common values. Values are those things you believe so deeply that you would be willing to die for them. It takes a period of time to serve with someone to begin to see what he/she really values. In addition, there must be common procedures. Common procedures are the practical methods needed to carry out the vision. You must all be in agreement concerning how you will carry out your God-given vision. And you must have healthy relationships. If any of these areas are missing, a team will find themselves struggling to function as a team.
The relationships on a team must be God-given, healthy relationships. There are many dreadful stories of leadership teams that have fractured. A church that was going through some relational leadership problems encouraged their pastor to take a vacation, and generously sent him to Hawaii. While there, he received a call from one of the elders who informed him that he had taken two thirds of the congregation and started a new church. The remaining congregation was torn apart and never recovered. There had been a breakdown in relationship simmering under the surface for many months that was never dealt with, and the team was destroyed.
Team members must feel valued and secure in the team environment. They must all realize they have a job to do, and no one can do their job better than they. Healthy leaders will do all they can to create a team environment that encourages each member to function in their particular gifts. A leader should never feel threatened if others on the team are more gifted in certain ministry areas.
The author of this little motto is unknown, but the message is loud and clear. “The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good people to get done what he wants done, and has self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”