One of the most significant joys of my life has been pouring into young developing leaders. I don’t buy into the whole millennials suck thing. I think that there are as many lazy 45-year-olds are there are 25-year-olds. All that to say that developing excellent teams is not easy but when it happens it is amazingly rewarding! Uncommon teams are never made in the microwave but are slow cooked over time. So what are a few of the keys to developing uncommon creative teams? Andrew Carnegie once said:
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
And really, that’s what we all desire right, to be part of something so unique and special that people call it “uncommon”. There are a few things that every uncommon teams share.
First, they rally around the vision. Amazing teams always know what the “why” is, and they are passionate about sharing that “why” with everyone. What is the vision that God has for your team? What is the “why” behind the work that you are doing today? If you don’t know your purpose, the vision you are trying to accomplish, you will lose direction and never accomplish anything uncommon which will be a major regret for you and your ministry.
Uncommon teams care about each other. I once heard Dave Ramsey say that “Leaders pull and bosses push.” If you are going to pull your team forward, it is going to require that you develop a relationship with them. Great leaders know the passion points of each teammate and work to set their teammates up to win. Recognizing individuals, their passions and dreams matter. On our teams, we fight for family. We care about each other, we invest in each other, and we protect each other. Having hard conversations, leaning into relational tension, being for one another grows roots that allow us to navigate tough times and moments of conflict. Everyone, especially creative people, wants to know that they are valued, excepted, and loved.
Great leaders also understand that for a team to become uncommon, they have to be able to navigate expectations. I think that expectations are the number one trap for most teams. So many groups show up for work, give their absolute best, leave their job feeling they are “winning” only to find out they were not even CLOSE to hitting the expected target. For teams to become uncommon the win must be crystal clear and well communicated. Once it is everyone knows what is expected and can do their best work to make those expectations become a reality!
Finally, uncommon teams learn to balance inspiration, discipleship, and execution. All three are vital but rarely do all three manifest at the same level. We have seasons when we are more inspired, more centered on the things of Christ, and other times when we are more in our grind mode just getting things done. Regardless where the scale tilts at this season of our lives, we have to remember that at the end of the day only we get to control our attitude and approach. If you lead the team, your view will determine the atmosphere from which the rest of the team works. If you are not yet the leader of a team, you still get to lead yourself. Your personal approach and leadership matter and God has gifted you the ability to work in a creative field, to do work that matters and draws people to Him, and that is an honor. Steward it and steward it well. Show up every day, give all you have, pray like you never have, fight for your creative best and watch what God does with your efforts. You have what it takes!
Are you ready to be uncommon?