Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Common Purpose

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 building project?

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

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. 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!
  • Achievable - I believe it.

So you want to put together a building team (or any kind of leadership team, for that matter)? 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.

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.

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