Two weeks ago, we started a journey of looking at three essentials of a heathy team. The first two were respect and honesty. Today we look at the final principle: humility.
Ego-driven anything does not work well or last long. When egos within a team are competing for power and recognition, the team is unhealthy and unable to accomplish much. Such a team is comprised of persons looking out for their own interests.
Last week I looked at respect as the first of what I refer to as the three essentials of a healthy team. Today I want us to look at the second of those three essentials — honesty.
Let’s face it; honesty in the workplace is hard, even in the context of a Christian organization. People are not sure who to trust. They are not sure if they can speak their minds without the fear of their boss making them pay for their honesty.
Plus, their opinions and ideas may snake through the office in the form of gossip or a series of conversations with other team members. The result is usually underlying internal frustration in the organization.
What makes a healthy team work? We have no lack of talk and training on this topic. Multiple assessments are available to help discover what each person brings to the team so the right fit can be made. And yet teams still struggle to function in a healthy manner.
Some focus on changes in their work environment in the hope that they will help make a healthy team. Yet with all the training, assessing, and changes to the work environment, too many teams still function in an unhealthy manner. Too often, people are forced to take assessments and training that is meant to make them better team members. And still the team remains dysfunctional.
I will contend that there are three essential, foundational principles necessary for creating a healthy team whether at home, at work or the place where you volunteer your time. For those attempting to create healthy teams, these principles are simply irreplaceable.
Last week I suggested some things that you as a leader should take into consideration when implementing change. What all leaders need when it comes to implementing change, is buy-in from the people affected. Once you have buy-in you know the change will be implemented, and you will have the support of those who will be affected by the change.
The challenge is how do you go about getting the buy-in of those who will help implement the change and those whose life will be affected by the change?
One of the biggest challenges most leaders face is implementing change. Let me say, I know change is inevitable and necessary, and there is no way to avoid it. Change generally is never easy for most people. And it gets more difficult when a leader comes along and attempts to change things that people are used to.
Many leaders find it challenging to implement changes either because the people are resisting the change, or the way the leader has decided to do it.
I can recall while pastoring I came up against having to make changes with some inflexible people who I knew would resist the changes. It was difficult, I was able to make some of the changes, and some I had to accept were not going to happen under my leadership.
Here are some things I have learned about implementing change.
As a leadership coach, one of the comments I most often hear from leaders is about how overwhelmed they are by all they have to do. I know very few leaders who are not feeling constantly overwhelmed.
Some are so overwhelmed they are unable to sleep well, relax on vacation, or be present in the moment. Too many leaders have lost the ability to fall asleep naturally; their minds are unable to rest when they are trying to sleep because they feel so overcome.
You lead because you want people to follow; but not all leaders know how to get others to follow. Many think others will follow because of their knowledge. Others think their positional authority as a leader should be reason enough for others to follow. Good leaders need neither of those things for others to follow them.
Someone once said, “Leadership is influence.” People are more likely to follow because they are influenced by the leader than by the giftedness of the leader or the positional power which comes with leadership.
How does one become a leader that leads through influence?
In the story of the rich young ruler (Mark 10:17-22) Jesus tells the young man to go and sell everything, give his money to the poor, and follow Him.
The man left very sad because his riches meant more to him than following Jesus.
Jesus also said that to follow Him we must be willing to hate/give up the most important relationships in our lives (Luke 14:26).
By Jesus’ own clear instructions, we are told we should not allow anything [riches] or anyone [parents, spouse, siblings, etc.] to stand between us and our relationship with Him.
Jesus wants our undivided, uncompromising loyalty and attention.
Sometimes weakness will manifest in leaders doing things they should not be doing, or things they are simply unsuited to do. At other times, weakness may result in leaders avoiding things they really ought to do.
Weaknesses can get in the way of leadership. However, we often do not talk about another side to weaknesses in leaders. That is, a leader who focuses on her weaknesses to the extent that she does not lead from her strengths?
Moses and Gideon are two good biblical examples of such leaders. When God called Moses to lead the children of Israel out from under the bondage of slavery in Egypt, Moses pointed to his weakness (Ex. 4:10) as the reason he could not (or should not) be the one to lead the children of Israel.
From the beginning of Chapter 3 up to Chapter 4:9, God has been demonstrating to Moses His great power to do miracles. But when called upon to lead, Moses’s response was to point to his weakness saying, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
With the constant movement of people, whether because of shifting employment or looking for a better life, along with the influence of technology in our lives, changes occur rapidly.
One group which is challenged with figuring out how to deal with all these changes is ministry leaders. Since what they have to offer is free – the message of the cross – and counter-cultural, they must figure out daily how to adjust to changes and remain relevant while also staying true to the message of the Gospel.