Still Answering the Question of the Week…

A continuing discussion coming from 3 different conversations with 3 different pastors over the course of 3 different days, but all having the same question:

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

Pat MacMillan, author of The Performance Factor, and Seth Godin, author of Tribes, have been a great resource for me in working with church teams. Here is the second of several posts on the topic.

The first characteristic was a common purpose.

High performance teams are also characterized by crystal clear roles.

Every team member is clear about his or her particular role, as well as those of other team members. Roles are about how we design, divide, and deploy the work of the team. While the concept is compellingly logical, many teams find it very challenging to implement in practice. When they get it right, though, team members discover that making their combination more effective and leveraging their collective efforts is an important part to synergistic results.

Broadly speaking, there are three types of team roles:

  • Functional (technical) expertise team roles – qualities and knowledge each member brings to the team
  • Formal team roles – skills needed for a specific role like team leader or facilitator
  • General team roles – the expectations placed on any member of the team so that objectives are met

Role Design Criteria

  • Clear – everyone must have role clarity or you will have role confusion
  • Complete – cover the whole task – no gaps
  • Compatible – match tasks to individual strengths and skills
  • Complementary – configure roles so that one person’s accomplishment doesn’t hinder or block someone else from their task
  • Consensual – agree on who is to do what and how

This is my part of our job and no one is done until everyone is done

A: Defining the common purpose of the team is the first step of creating a team; that common purpose is the reason for cooperation. Following that, the church must develop an appropriate division of labor and create clear roles for team members. This is the strategy for cooperation.

 
inspired by and adapted from The Performance Factor by Pat MacMillan and Tribes by Seth Godin
The Performance FactorTribes
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The Question of the Week is…

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

3 different conversations with 3 different pastors over the course of 3 different days, but all having the same question!

As with all great questions, the answer begins with another question. One of the first I would ask is Why does this group exist? How that question is answered will determine, to a great measure, the success of the team. Pat MacMillan, author of The Performance Factor, and Seth Godin, author of Tribes, have been a great resource for me in working with church leadership teams.

The single most important ingredient in a team’s success is a clear, common, compelling task.

The power of a team flows out of each team member’s alignment to its purpose. The task of any team is to accomplish an objective and to do so at exceptional levels of performance. Teams are not ends in themselves, but rather a means to an end.

The power of teamwork flows out of alignment between the interests of individual team members and the mission of the team. MacMillan found that to achieve such alignment, team members must see the task as:

  • Clear – I see it.
  • Relevant – I want it.
  • Significant – It’s worth it.
  • Urgent – I want it…now!
  • Achievable – I believe it.

So you want to put together a leadership team for a specific project?

NEWS FLASH: There really is an “I” in team – if the individual members aren’t committed to a clear, common, and compelling task as individuals first, then you really won’t have much of a team.

So, the first answer to the question above?

A: First, the church needs to have a clear understanding of what the team is expected to accomplish. That clear purpose will serve as a guide to seeking individuals who will bring their collective wisdom together to form, over time, a team to accomplish the task.

inspired by and adapted from The Performance Factor by Pat MacMillan and Tribes by Seth Godin

The Performance FactorTribes