The team you lead is not really a team if…
1. The leader does most of the talking and most of the thinking
As a leader, your primary job is equipping and empowering others to lead and you flat out can’t do that if everything is focused on what you think, do and say. Excellent leaders spend less time talking and more time listening.
As a leader you should be investing time in asking good questions and forcing others around you to think and express themselves. I have been to more meetings than I care to remember where one leader did all the talking, all the thinking and produced all of the ideas. That to me is simply bad leadership which, over the long- haul, will derail and fail.
2. No one else has the authority to make any decisions but the leader
Good leaders share decision-making authority as they train and develop others to learn how to make good decisions. It’s either fear or pride in a leader who won’t allow other people make decisions for the group, church or organization. It’s micro-management at its worst. It’s also a huge bottle neck that slows everything down.
3. Team members walk on egg shells and look over their shoulders and afraid to make mistakes or fail
There are a lot of overpowering, overbearing and domineering leaders who strike fear, but not respect, in the hearts of their followers. There is a sickness when a leader enjoys having people fear them. There needs to be a biblical understanding of failure as well as success. It’s okay to fail in the process of experimenting by trying new ways of thinking and implementing. My dad had a sign in his business which said: “Show me a man who never made a mistake and I’ll show you a man who never made anything.” Good leaders give lots of latitude to try, fail and learn from failures.
4. Team members are only concerned about their own area of ministry and not genuinely interested in what’s best for the whole organization…silo thinking and functioning
A healthy team works together in accomplishing agreed-upon goals which move the entire team or organization down the road; not just one department to the detriment of the other departments. I have been in organizations where selfishness ruled the allocation of money, time and personnel. Good teams are willing to sacrifice for others on the team rather than doing what’s best for only them and their careers. You have seen multiple sports team where it’s all about one person’s stats, fame and career rather than for the good of the team; those are not good teams, even if they do win because of their super star.
5. The only person holding anyone accountable is the team leader
Good team members hold each other accountable for results and attitudes, and do not rely only on the team leader to do this. When team members are willing to call each other out over attitudes and performance, it shows they truly care about the entire team, not just about themselves and how they are doing.
So, is the team you are on truly a team or just a group of people who happen to work for the same organization?
Why not ask your fellow team members to honestly evaluate the team?
Five means we are really doing well.
One means we are not doing well at all
1. The talking and thinking is equally shared within the team and is not dominated by the team leader
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2. Decision-making authority has been distributed within the team and does not reside with only the leader
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3. Team members are encouraged to experiment and make mistakes and are not afraid to fail
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4. Team members are concerned about the entire organiation and not just their own area of ministry
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5 . Team members are holding each other accountable and are not relying on the team leader to do this
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