Team development is probably the most difficult, most essential, and most rewarding part of my job.
We can all agree that in order to go farther and be better, we must replicate and grow teams for our common mission.
I love to see a team take hold of a vision, and work together in unison, toward a common goal of reaching the lost for Jesus Christ.
On the flip side, nothing can be more depressing than trying to motivate and train a team that digs in their heels, and won’t see the need, nor has the desire, to move in the direction you are leading.
We may not agree on the method by which we develop and lead teams, however, we can all agree that in order to go farther and be better, we must replicate and grow teams for our common mission.
I’m often asked, “Are you busy?” My answer is always the same, “There is never a shortage of things to do.”
The list of tech duties and needs is like your laundry basket at home, the minute you fold and put away the clothes, it’s full again.
We need teams and we must develop them continually. In this fast moving and ever-changing world, it never fails that when you invest, develop and trust a team member, that they become valuable and desirable, and are often offered opportunities to then move on.
This aspect can be seen as discouraging. I, though, consider it a success. If you are developing people whose skills are desirable beyond your organization, then you are successful.
I’ll be the first to admit, I have much to learn about team development, but I can say for certain, I do enjoy it. This leads well into my first point, be a student of people, because what you knew yesterday, will need to be tweaked, to work today.
You will not only have to navigate a person’s ability to learn and remain engaged, you will have to navigate all that pulls at them beyond your walls. Dads and moms have kids, single people are dating, along with people taking vacations, dealing with health issues, etc., which all become a distraction and can become their priority.
This leads to my next point, be involved in the lives of those you lead. People will follow you, and continue to do so for a longer period of time, if you are invested in them on a personal level, beyond the position they fill.
I urge you, never underestimate the power of personal investment. This can be exhausting, because as the leader, you also have your own life and all that it requires.
But it is also what separates a leader from a follower. Be able to give what is required and then go another mile, for what is required of others.
Finally, and this part is harder today than it has ever been, but you must communicate well with the teams you lead. Whether or not you have good communication from your superior, you must overcome and not allow the trickle down to occur.
People will respond well when they receive clear communication! This is the hardest thing for me to practice on a daily basis. It is easy to use the excuse, I just forget to share information, because I am running so fast. This is an excuse, though, built on a foundation of sand and will only carry you so far.
People are not impressed with an inability to communicate, and ultimately you forfeit influence when you can’t communicate direction, expectations, and needs.
People will go where you lead, if you earn the right to lead them.
If you look around and no one is following, then you are lying to yourself that you are leading. A title doesn’t force people to follow you for long. A title gives authority but does not earn respect or produce followers.
If you are unwilling to become a student of people development, paid team members will find another job and volunteers will serve elsewhere.
Teams are made up of individuals. Develop an individual several times over, and eventually you have a team!