I once heard John Maxwell say that “team work makes the dream work.” However, as I survey the leadership landscape, I believe the reason a lot of dreams are not working is because a lot of teams are way more dysfunctional than dedicated.
#1 – There is no healthy conflict on the team.
Some people believe that healthy teams have no conflict, which is simply not true. If a team wants to achieve its maximum potential, there has to be a place where people can ask questions and offer opinions (behind closed doors) that may call the status quo in the organization on the carpet.
If a leader has people on a team, but no one pushes back from time to time, then he (or she) has either has surrounded themselves with people who think just like them, or has created a culture of fear where speaking up equals getting fired.
#2 – People on the team hate meetings.
It’s quite popular in today’s world to crack on meetings; however, I would argue if you do not like meetings then it has to do something with the team who you meet with.
I love meetings. The BEST ideas we’ve ever had at NewSpring Church have come out of meetings.
In fact, the more I study those who hate meetings the more I realize that those people also do not do well with any sort of accountability!
If the people on the team are people you love, and when you are talking about something that really does matter - then meetings should set them on fire.
#3 – The people on the team spend no time together outside of the meeting.
I once heard a leader say that you can’t be friends with the people you lead, and that statement is true IF you are a leader dominated by insecurity.
If the only time you connect with someone is during meetings, then the tendency is to view that person through the lens of who they are by what they say in the meeting - and we lose sight of the fact that they may have a spouse, kids, aging parents, etc. When we get to know the people we work with, it will significantly improve the chemistry in meetings.
#4 – The goal of the meeting is to see how fast the team can get through the meeting.
If the goal is to get through meetings quickly, the tendency is to do what is EASY rather than what is RIGHT. When we allow quickness to become the focus of our meetings then the team will lead its organization in a way that results in apathy and complacency rather than having a white hot vision that sets hearts on fire.
#5 – When people refuse to accept input from the team, always blaming “them” and telling others “if you want something done right then you have to do it yourself.”
“They don’t get it” is code for, “I am way more advanced than ‘them!” When this thought pattern begins to dominate our mind then we are controlled by pride. Refusing to at least listen is a violation of what I believe to be a core value of leadership—that leaders are listeners, and the leader that refuses to listen will eventually have no one around him or her to lead.
Before people buy in to what you're doing, they have to feel as if they’ve been given the opportunity to weigh in with their opinion. And once they have offered their thoughts, even if the team decides to go in a different direction, they are more likely to be on board because they have been heard.