Friday, July 08, 2011

Leading an Effective Team

There is an old management axiom that goes, “What gets counted gets done.”  The idea behind this is we are intentional about those things that we know are going to be measured.  With rare exceptions, nothing worthwhile happens unless someone works to make it happen or chooses to become its “champion.”  This is true for effective leadership teams as well.

The desire for an effective team begins with a person.  This is usually the pastor or executive director of the organization but it may be a team member, a member of the board, or a church member.  If the initiative does not come from the leader of the team, he or she must not only buy into the concept but thoroughly embrace it.  The leader models the idea, nurtures its development, and intervenes to assure its survival.

Although the leader does not give up his or her leadership responsibility to the church or the organization, he or she will have to leave ego at the door and adopt the roles of advocate, facilitator, mentor, and coach.  The leader is still an essential part of the team because of the gifts that he or she brings to the table but, Max DePree says in Leadership Jazz, the leader becomes part of the jazz ensemble rather than the conductor of the symphony.

The most rewarding aspect of developing an effective leadership team is that, if it is done well, then the team members themselves will become its supporters and champions.  As they see the value of being part of this type of team, the team members will contribute to its success.  They will come to appreciate the opportunities for growth, service, and ministry such a team provides.

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