As I write this post, Major League Baseball’s All-star game is being played. It got me to thinking of how often we find ourselves on a team. We may participate in sports, work for a charity or church, join a club, or support a political candidate. In fact, in the business world, committees are now called “teams” and supervisors “coaches.” It’s all about working together to get something done! Yet, how often do we experience our teams losing the game, or simply disbanding?
Watching the game with two teams striving to put more score on the board I came to a not-so-profound insight. They only had a couple of days to come together and will disband forever after tonight. Their simple goals were to provide entertainment and have fun. Our teams are a more complex, and usually last more than a week.
The successful “teams” on which I have participated normally followed a set of rules for success. Here are some of these rules for us to think about as we take up positions on our teams.
- DIRECTION: PROVIDED BY LEADERSHIP. TEAM MEMBERS MUST ALL HAVE THE SAME ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS IN MIND AND HEAD IN THAT DIRECTION.
- MUTUAL RESPECT: THE TEAM NEEDS THE TALENTS AND GIFTS OF ALL OF ITS MEMBERS. ALL HAVE THEIR ROLES TO PLAY AND THE SUCCESS OF THE TEAM DEPENDS ON ALL THE “PLAYERS” DOING THEIR JOBS.
- BREAKDOWNS: THERE WILL BE BREAKDOWNS IN THE TEAM. SUPERSTARS WANTING TO OUTSHINE THEIR TEAMMATES, INJURIES, PERSONAL PROBLEMS, DISAGREEMENTS, HURT FEELINGS. LEADERS MUST PROVIDE THE CULTURE OF OPEN COMMUNICATION, CLEAR DIRECTION, AND PLENTY OF ROOM FOR THE MEMBERS TO DO THEIR JOBS. LEADERS ALSO NEED TO LOOK AT FAILURES AS OPPORTUNITIES FOR MEMBERS TO GROW AND FOR THE TEAM TO PULL TOGETHER.
- GROW TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER
I often refer to these rules as I “coach” the First Presbyterian Church team. I was sent the following years ago and I will share this brief paragraph with you in closing. Hope it helps as you lead and participate in the many groups we have meeting at our Church.
START WITH PRAYER
ADD NURTURE AND LOVE
STIR IN MUTUAL RESPECT
SEASON WITH COMMUNICATION
AND HEAT WITH DIRECTION