Team Lesson

The people who are least involved in the process tend to demand the most of your leadership resources 

Having just returned from a team meeting, I was again reminded about the importance of every individual’s engagement in the development and implementation of a shared vision. We have a reasonably well developed leadership structure in what is essentially a volunteer organisation (a church community). The nature of voluntary involvement means that not everyone will be at the team meetings all of the time. I was reminded tonight that those who are less engaged in the process require so much more time from core leadership:

  • They  need to be reminded about the core values more than other team members
  • They need to be reminded more than others about the real meaning of the vision
  • They need to be assured more regularly that they are a meaningful part of the team. They may experience considerable self doubt
  • They will struggle to implement strategies that the team has developed

Consequence: As a leader it will be harder to bring them along with you. I wonder whether there’s something like an 80/20 rule here: 20% of your team will tend to attract 80% of you attention – or something like that? I suppose there are also some hard economies: someone who regularly chooses not to engage is probably the wrong person for that area of service or ministry. They may need to consider their place in the team.

Here is an uncomfortable tension: You straddle being a shepherd and a leader. Both qualities are demanded of you, but they are sometimes so hard to harmonise…


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