September 26, 2016

The Miracle of Team

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Recently an idea emerged in our team meeting that would shift twenty percent of a team member’s life energy in a new direction. The next day a document was prepared to propose how and why this change would occur. The following day the team agreed to make the change. We believe this shift has the potential to radically improve our ability to discover, develop and deploy leaders to start and strengthen churches, our team’s purpose.

Our team has sought to be lean and nimble, but this was quick, even for a team that has been together for about five years. As team leader, I believe this illustrates the miracle of team. One member of our team writes, “Working on a nimble and responsive team is an amazing experience. It’s a doable miracle if the team leader and the team members commit to the discipline of a constant rhythm of meeting together.” (Doug McClintic, Church Multiplication Catalyst)

Another team member writes, “Working on a high performance team is the key to keeping a balanced and healthy perspective for ministry. Traveling alone in ministry is both difficult and dangerous. An effective team creates healthy support and accountability for each member which will always produce more and better fruit.” (Art Wiers, Church Health Catalyst)

This could occur so quickly because the level of trust among the three members of our Core Leadership Team is so high. As Steven M.R. Covey has written in the Speed of Trust, when trust is high, the speed goes up and the costs of all kinds go down. This proves to be true in an empowered, high-performance team over and over again. As shared by Patrick Lencioni in the The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, the absolute foundational building block of an effective team is: THEY TRUST EACH OTHER!

In the early years of our team relationship, we travelled hundreds of miles by car to lead retreats and workshops for the churches that we were serving. We did life together on these trips and talked and talked and talked … my colleagues are just a tad extroverted. We became willing to share honestly with one another and eventually to disagree openly. We were increasingly vulnerable with each other. These experiences formed the foundation of deeply trusting working relationships. I now say that TRUST is the coin of the realm for effective teams and effective organizational leadership.

I have come to believe that an effective team is exponentially more powerful than any team member could be when functioning alone, even with very gifted team members – as are each of my colleagues. Therefore, I am now beginning to refer to the miracle of team! Going it alone is simply not all that it is cracked up to be – period!

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