5 actions responsibility-centered leaders do that others don’t: Developing the Leadership Team.
“In spite of what they might claim publicly, too many leaders still believe teamwork is a soft pursuit, less important than more technical matters like finance or strategy or marketing. So they choose to stay involved in those technical areas and let someone else handle the soft stuff.” P.142.
I think this idea goes back to a core idea many of us have been taught and we believe: “the sum of you are greater than their parts”. In other words, when you have a team made up of individuals who are highly skilled in their particular areas and strengths, the team will be able to accomplish far more than if they were to work separately.
However, I find this quote lacking and I would like to think Lencioni would agree with me. The quote should read, “The sum of you (the team) are greater than their parts, when they work together!” Obviously, you would think, well if we’re on a team together we should get along and we should work to a common goal… But I cannot begin to tell you how many teams I’ve been apart of where I, or someone else on the team, have not taken the time to learn how to appropriately communicate with a person and it’s lead to a disastrous misunderstanding or failure of the project. Even worse, when you were a part of a group project in school and one had the aim to work hard for a good grade and the other had it in mind to have fun aiming for a passing grade. With a lack of mission, a team will fall apart. With a lack of unity, communication, trust, inattention to detail, commitment, accountability, transparency (many of these from Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team), the team will fail!
How often have we stopped going somewhere in a conversation because we fear a team member will blow up on us or stop communicating with us. How often have we made assumptions of fellow coworkers that led to you or them failing on a project? Instead of having that tough conversation with out spouse on how best to parent our children, did we burn with resentment because we didn’t feel our child(ren) was getting the flourishing environment he/she deserved?
We have to take the time to learn how to communicate with those in leadership around us to build the team that can get us (the organization, the family, the group) to that next stage we need to go. Pastors, in your context, are you developing your board in such a way that gains clarity around mission and purpose? Are you developing your associate pastors to delivery front line reports and getting down to the results and accountability you need from them?
Larger organizations, as Lencioni points out, have HR teams who help develop culture and put healthy practices in place. For smaller organizations and groups you, as the leader, are the sole culture developer. You implant healthy or unhealthy DNA into your context down through your leadership team. Therefore you have to develop a team that has clear focus and will go into scary and caring candor with those who are closest around you while maintaining your emotions and communicating in a way that builds up your leadership team, not tearing them down.
(possibly an extra blog on how to create a team like this. Have everyone on your leadership team/board, as the question: what makes me a great teammate and what makes me a bad teammate, accepting the good and accepting the bad).
Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.