Great Leaders Build Great Teams (Part 1)
In the business realm, there is an African proverb that has been made famous : “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.” This has proven itself true over and over again. I would add an alternative version, “if you want to go far and go fast, go together with the right people.” The choice doesn’t have to be between fast and slow if you pick the right members.
There is a book entitled Good to Great by Jim Collins; the main point is about the dynamics inside of team structures, I would summarize the best point of the book this way: “Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats on the bus.” Often it is the leadership team being stuck that keeps so many ministries back from advancing the kingdom.
Many times the new/right people need to come on the scene, some of the old/wrong people need to leave, and the new/right people need to be put into the right positions.
At the point where only the new/right people remain, the ongoing shuffle of positions can go on for a time while people are finding the right seat .
Simultaneously while the right people are being moved into the right seats, the main leader must be considering the clarification of vision and structure. After being stuck for so long, a vision often needs to be restored to life. This is not simply revisiting some bland statement written into a handbook a decade ago.
In 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene, the argument is made that the number one cause of good morale in a team is a clearly communicated over-arching vision. This gives the team a focus and something to rally behind. In the absence of an over-arching vision, teams divide into managing their internal departments. And while your department can meet its goals, the ship might still sink because the overall vision isn’t met. Every member of every team must be aimed ultimately at fulfilling the over-arching vision.
A helpful question to ask yourself repeatedly:
"Has your structure been so clearly defined and organized that you could easily sell your structure?"
A buyer should be able to open your handbook and clearly understand what your structure is, what it does, and why it does it. Not that you’d ever sell your structure, but this is a good hypothetical, which gives a goal to organize toward.
Consider Jesus’ structure: John the Apostle that laid his head on Jesus chest is the number one, followed by the lead team of Peter, James, and John together at private intervals. Then there was the twelve designated as apostles, then the 70, the 120 in the upper room, then the 500 He appeared to in the 40 days after the resurrection.
The “why” of Jesus' group was “to declare the kingdom of God has appeared and is growing in the earth like a mustard seed but will take over as the largest tree.”
And the “how” of Jesus group was demonstrating the authority of King Jesus through signs and wonders.
- Pick your team carefully.
- Remove the wrong people, get the right people, and position the right people rightly.
- Have an over-arching vision, which draws the team together.
- Clarify your structure and organization into a handbook that could be handed to anyone and they would understand who you are and what you do.
This is simply part one, and I plan to write a part two very soon. Have a blessed week!