Successful organizations require a team to fulfill a dream. Over the years, I wish I had been more intentional with understanding:
- The kinds of people I surround myself with,
- The real value of team, and
- What to look for in a team.
Yes, I evaluated, “Where do I see myself in 5-10-15 years?” But oh how I wished I had been more purposeful in considering how to see dreams come to fruition. I am talking about my personal dreams, my professional dreams, and our organization’s dreams. Then I realized, it is NOT too late! I have a choice. I can still consider who to model after, what types of mentors are best for me, what types of associates I need (my team), and who will be my friends. And guess what? So CAN YOU!
The way we build teams is essential to our organization’s success. We hear a lot about ‘team building.’ The Oxford dictionary defines this as ‘the action or process of causing a group of people to work together effectively as a team, especially by means of activities and events designed to increase motivation and promote cooperation.’ But this is not what I am referring to. I am asking, how are you building a team of partners that is built to last?
Below are five questions I would like for you to ponder:
- Does your team make up for your weaknesses?
- Does your team bring out the best in you? Do they challenge you, so you are continually sharpening your skills, and does the workplace culture encourage lifting each other up?
- Does your team help you get more done?
- Does your team lift you up when you stumble?
- Does your team aid and assist when attacks and criticism are dished out?
If you answered no to just one of these questions, then I would challenge you to realize that you do not have your dream team together. Over the years, I had heard of the Modesto Manifesto and knew it was associated with Rev. Billy Graham. What I did NOT realize was that he built a team that worked together for over 60 years. Can you imagine the impact a team like this can have? As a result, I began exploring what made this team so effective. I learned five critical components.
- Hire people who have the same values as you.
- Choose people who are committed to living a life of character.
- Find people who will do the right thing even when it is hard.
- Recruit people who can handle criticism and who can remain focused under these difficult situations.
- Look for people who are willing to take bold risks.
In closing, my hope is for you to build a successful team; one that encourages the entire body to finish well by staying true to the organization’s purpose. I think singer/songwriter Matthew West puts it best, “If not us, who? If not now, when? Right now is the time.”