Team Development

Develop Your Team

I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but I bet we have something in common: I bet your organization could stand to have more help. I work for a church – a church with several hundred attendees in 3 worship services - and there is something we have NEVER EVER said in a Tuesday staff meeting: we have all the people we need. Consequentially, I spend a significant amount of time developing a team to help me execute a vision I’ve been given. The risk of not knowing how to develop your team means your organization can only move at your speed. That is not self-sustaining. Learn how to develop a team of people so that you have help, more people buy-in to where you’re going and, more importantly, the work goes on beyond any one individual.

Develop the Goal

What are we doing? Why are we doing it this way or differently from the past? If you are in leadership, if you are a leader, your responsibility to your organization is to push the team forward. Get rid of the “if it ain’t broke” mentality. Pray, ask colleagues, visit similar size organizations, talk to slightly to majorly successful organizations and more. Research best practices in your field. When I wanted to re-tool our praise team to be better, I kept going to conferences where other praise team leaders did not have our same rehearsal schedule. I was rehearsing regularly but getting mediocre results. Due to market research, I made our rehearsals less frequent which yielded great results. Develop your goal(s) without reinventing the wheel.

The Goal is The Goal

For me, this is the case whether I have an existing leadership team or if I’m going to find a new team of people to execute the goal. In either scenario the goal is the goal. Ideally, it would be great to have an existing team of folks you have led well, respect you fully and would ultimately follow you forward even if they didn’t completely agree with the direction of the team. But most of the time you’ll have to do a little convincing. That is ok! You don’t need people to agree with you all the time no matter what. What you need are people that will be open to change. They may not like it, they may seem initially resistant. But all you can ask is for people to remain open to the idea and the process.

Ask Questions

Once you get a team of diverse opinions, backgrounds, experiences but all people you can trust to give you honesty, ask themquestions. How are things going? What are you hearing about the organization from others? Are you optimistic about our direction? What is working and what is not working? If you had the power what changes would you make? Change can be – not always – easier to digest if the assembled team sees the need for change. If several people can sit together and all agree we have to do something differently, then the change comes from the community not just you. It will serve you well to have others see the needs for your organization whenever that is possible.

Show Your Heart

Why is this important to you? Why do you want to do this in the first place? What has been placed in your heart you want to share with others? Don’t make your vision so personal that it seems like you want people to work for you. But do make it sincere so your team knows you care! Whatever the new thing is you are proposing has to be articulated from a place of genuineness. If your team doesn’t sense it’s important to you it simply won’t be important to them. Also demonstrate to them you are willing to work as hard and harder to make your dream a reality.

Eat Dinner When It’s Cooked

You’ve planned the meal, shopped for the groceries. You’re cooking the meal and you’ve followed all the directions perfectly. You’ve turned on the oven to 350 degrees and you’ve placed your uncooked food in there. Wouldn’t it be silly to eat before the food is done? So have an idea of when you want to implement the new initiative. Simultaneously, be aware that change takes as long as it has to take for the result to be right. You may have the right idea for the right organization at the right time. But you can want results too quickly and that will sabotage your own success. Move as fast as the most resistant person on your team. Make sure they understand each step before you move past them. If you get a sense they’re digging their heels in out of protest, that’s something different. But if they want to be on the bus and just need a greater comfort level, give it to them.

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