I have been and always will be a huge proponent of teamwork. (Currently every time I say that word I have a song that pops into my head, if you have a preschooler, it probably pops into your head as well-"What's gonna work, TEAMWORK! Go Wonder Pets").
It is no secret that a great team will always beat a great individual. Sports, business, and ministry provide plenty of examples of teams triumphing over individual super stars, so I will not belabor that point here. However, more times than not, teams don't function at their highest potential.
Why is that? I think there are several reasons why teams sometimes falter. Teams are just like families. If they are not a priority, then things will begin to fall apart. From what I can tell, these are 7 keys to a great team:
1. Loyalty- The team has to know that everyone has the support of everyone else on the team. Does the team really have each other's "backs"? Or are they more worried about themselves and what they are doing and how they can further themselves?
2. Trust- Trust is huge on teams. Can you say the final 10%? Or is there always just a little bit you go without saying because you are afraid of how the other person will react?
3. Collaboration- In a great team, everyone needs to feel like they are valuable enough to give input to the team. Their input doesn't necessarily have to be used, but they need to feel safe to give it.
4. Fun- I have been on teams that have been so much fun that I can't wait to get back to the team, and I have been on other teams that cause me to want to stay away. In order for a team to be healthy, they must work hard, but they must play hard as well.
5. Growth- Healthy teams are always growing. They might not be growing in numbers (as a matter of fact, I think once you get to a certain point, adding people to the team will actually take away from productivity), but they will be growing together. For instance, our Team here at Hope takes regular opportunities to grow in our leadership by attending conferences and watching videos together. There is something huge to be said for attending a conference together as a team.
6. Communication- This one may actually be the most important, because without it, nothing else is even possible. Teams have to be able to have open lines of communication that travel in both directions. If the leadership team is only communicating "down", then the team will suffer for it.
7. Transparency- This one isn't quite as obvious, but it is just as essential. There are times, in business and in ministry, when leadership must make tough decisions. Most of the time when one of these decisions is necessary, a potential difficult situation can be averted if the leadership team will make clear the reasons for their decision. Sometimes this isn't possible due to the confidentiality of things, but if the leader has made it a habit to be transparent in other things, then the team will "TRUST" the leadership enough to know there is a reason for their decision.
I love teams, and I think that God has called me to serve on teams and do my part to help the teams that I am on to be healthy.