John Maxwell has famously said “teamwork makes the dream work.”
Teams are incredibly important in accomplishing a vision. And as the leader of organizations, projects, initiatives and churches, maybe the most important thing you do is select, equip and release leaders.
We talked a few posts ago about being a great employee, so here are a few thoughts on building a team. Several of these points have been constructed and edited based on thoughts that Brian Houston from Hillsong Church shared with a few of us in a retreat setting a few years ago.
1. Live and lead so that your team is an overflow of your leadership. Your team will reflect your leadership. What you see in them is what you’re modeling to them. Overflow to your team in a healthy positive way.
2. Don’t think too much, or too little, of yourself. As the directional organization leader, you aren’t the hero, but you’re also not the goat. A healthy balance on this is the right direction.
3. Create a structure and system that allows people on your team to flourish. Can people flourish on your team, or does your personality or stature or the system get in the way? If someone can’t flourish, why would they stay? Find structures that release people.
4. Don’t just look to people, look thru them. What is the next generation? Who will replace you? Constantly build layers of leadership – think generationally.
5. Hire heart before head every time. I want a hustler, not a know it all. I want someone who is passionate and hungry, not entitled and complacent.
6. Slow and steady, not fast and furious. Building leaders takes time, but is always worth it. You may not always be able to find the right people, but you can always build into them. It’s a marathon, not a sprint in terms of developing people.
7. Constantly fight the bureaucracy as you grow. People are not the problem, sometimes it’s the structure or systems. Even in large organizations, things happen with 3-5 people working closely together. Small and stealth vs large and slow when it comes to teams that get things done. Where there is bureaucracy, the team perishes.
8. Model strong leadership, and not controlling leadership. Your team doesn’t want a dictator.
9. Create a culture where things are out in the open. Don’t let issues fester too long.
10. Be consistent yet customized. Create an environment that is predictable (security) but innovative (creative).
11. Demand a pursuit of perfection. It’s not about being perfect, but the pursuit of perfection should be something every one of your team members feels responsible to achieve. It starts with you, and flows from there.