Maximizing Change & Teamwork By Dr. Paul L. Walker! A Must Read!
Dear Visionary Leader:
Whether we like it or not – times change! In fact, the experts tell us that our society is onone of the steepest curves of technological, demographic and psychological transformation in all of history. The question is, “How can we, as the church, keep abreast? How can our ministries speak effectively to modernity? How can we face the future in faith?”
The starting point is to accept change as a societal constant. The point is that teamwork is imperative. Providing the context for positive results means that, as leaders, we develop an organizational team which accommodates the factors of success. In this regard, here are some principles for team development:
- The purpose of a team is to accomplish an objective, and to do so at exceptional levels of performance. Team work is not an end it itself, but rather a means to an end.
- Teamwork is just that: work. Cooperation does not necessarily make the job easier, but it does make the results bigger and better.
- Team building is a process. Increased team effectiveness is a product of mini-steps.
- The benefits of teamwork are visible at the bottom line. To become effective, the team must see tangible and profitable results.
- Teamwork requires members to be self-sufficient in their development efforts. Everyone must know and do their part for effectiveness to occur.
- Teamwork is an opportunity to grow personally and collectively. A team must constantly evaluate its performance and make adjustments for improvement.
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These principles highlighted above, in turn, are based on a highly effective ministry team which functions in the following matter:
1. Common Purpose: This is the cornerstone of a team. Purpose asks the question, “Why are we in existence?” By definition there must be unity of purpose; otherwise the various elements will pull in different directions. The purpose of a team is to accomplish an objective – an objective bigger than we can accomplish individually. Teamwork is not an end in itself, but rather a means to an end. Therefore, we believe an effective team is purpose/mission directed – it will be judged against its results.
2. Appropriate Roles: Dividing the task is breaking down and matching its various elements to corresponding strengths and skills of the various individual team members. This process becomes the key to tapping the synergistic potential of the team.
3. Accepted Leadership: Effective teams are characterized by clear, formal, strong leadership. Although formal leadership is clearly present at all times, an effective leader in a team environment knows that it is often best for moment- by-moment leadership to be task-driven. With significant contribution on the team member whose skills, strengths, or experience best match the demands of the current situation.
4. Effective Plans & Methods: Whereas purpose deals with what and why, here we focus on how. How do we accomplish the task? What are the basic processes of the team? How do we make decisions, solve problems and resolve conflict?
5. Solid Relationships: Interpersonal conflicts on a team are like friction in a machine. Solid relationships are the lubricant between the human beings who make up a high performance team. The objective is not to become best friends, but rather how to work together. The quality solid implies that the relationship can withstand the blows of occasional misunderstandings, conflicts and “bad days.”
6. Excellent Communication: This one element permeates every other characteristic of an effective team. Communication provides the means of cooperation – the glue that holds the team together. Through excellent communication we coordinate our team by assigning roles, providing feedback, clarifying details and resolving conflicts.
Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Dr. Paul L. Walker