I was just being interviewed on a radio show called GirlFriendIt and ran out of time as I was working my way through this list. They asked me to post the list on my blog.
Here you go.
5 Key Elements for Building a Strong Team
Enlisting–Build a strong team by recruiting, interviewing, training, and leading well and then bring your team along with you on the journey. A truly strong leader does not surround himself/herself with “weaker” leaders, but with strong men and women. The insecure leader will not intentionally hire or retain team-members by whom he/she feels threatened, but will consciously or unconsciously hire team members who he/she sees as slightly inferior. Building a strong team requires building the team with strong members.
Entrusting–Do you naturally trust people? Some leaders have allowed past pain to take root and grow in their soul in a way that chokes the life out of trust. This leader assumes that his/her team-members need to be checked on, watched, and supervised in a way that ensures their loyalty to both the institution and the leader. I’ve experienced this and found it to be an environment toxic to creativity, enthusiasm, and joy in ministry. Strong leaders don’t make their team-members earn their trust–it’s given upon arrival. It can be lost, but not at the front door.
Equipping–It is incredibly frustrating to be given total responsibility while also to be given minimal resources and training. I think it’s important for leaders to take personal responsibility for the individual success of his/her team-members by intentionally equipping the team-members with the resources and training they need to be best positioned for success. Strong leaders routinely ask their staff, “What can I do to support you in your ministry?,” listen, and then respond supportively.
Empowering–As frustrating as it is to have total responsibility while also having minimal resources and training, it’s a gazillion (give or take a zillion) times more frustrating to be given total responsibility while also to be given minimal authority. Weak leaders are prone to micromanagement, but strong leaders empower their team with both the responsibility and the authority to lead well.
Encouraging–Recently, a ministry leader pointed out that I had not encouraged a few of the ministry leaders recently and he was right. I felt terrible because I truly value those leaders, but had not said it recently and–in so doing–had created a vacuum in their hearts that discouragement was glad to fill. It was a reminder to me that strong leaders encourage regularly and specifically. I believe it’s important not just to encourage my team-members on a regular basis (not mechanically, but organically), but it’s also important to be as specific as possible with my encouragement. So, instead of saying, “Tammy, Uptown worship was great this week,” I say, “Tammy, I loved how you presented that lesson on serving one another. I’ve never thought about it that way, but your application of the story of the Good Samaritan was so very insightful. Thanks!”