Will You Just Answer the Question Already?

The same question, coming from 3 different conversations with 3 different pastors over the course of 3 different days prompted this series of posts.

Q: How do you put together a team of leaders to guide a church through a new ministry initiative or project?

My reply is that you don’t just want a team, you need a high-performing team. The foundational work that I have used for several years is based on what Pat MacMillan, author of The Performance Factor, has described as the six characteristics of a high-performing team. 

The first characteristic was a common purpose. The second was crystal clear roles.

Here are the remaining four characteristics:

  • High performance teams need – no, demand – accepted leadership capable of calling out the levels of initiative and creativity that motivate exceptional levels of both individual and collective performance.
  •  High performance teams have effective processes. They identify, map, and then master their key team processes. They constantly evaluate the effectiveness of key processes, asking: How are we doing? What are we learning? How can we do it better?
  • High performance teams must work out of a foundation of solid relationships. The relational qualities of trust, acceptance, respect, courtesy, and a liberal dose of understanding are needed for high levels of team effectiveness.
  • High performance teams have excellent communication. No team can move faster than it communicates; fast, clear, and accurate communication is the key to thinking and acting collectively.
courtesy triaxiapartners.com

courtesy triaxiapartners.com

It’s a short list – only six characteristics. But each characteristic plays a specific and vital role in making the team effective. Notice the arrangement of the characteristics – a wheel shape. In a sense, each one is equal and necessary. If one of these six characteristics is missing or inadequate, the team is limping at best. Think of the wheel on your car: if it is out of balance or alignment, the performance is affected. What starts out as a distraction can turn into a disaster.

By the way, if you click on the image above, the link will take you to the website of author Pat MacMillan’s company for detailed explanations of each of the 6 characteristics, along with a wealth of other resources.

Back to your car’s alignment – the same is true for your team: if two or three of these characteristics are missing, your group is probably not a team at all.

Here’s my quick answer for the question above.

A: You start by bringing together a group of people who effectively demonstrate the six characteristics of a high-performing team. Once the team is together, the work begins.


Now the fun begins…

inspired by and adapted from The Performance Factor by Pat MacMillan

The Performance Factor 


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