Why are fantastic teams so vital to the health of your workplace culture and the success of your organization? This week, in segment number five of our new, continuing series, “Eight Ways to Build a Flourishing Culture,” I put the question to Steve Macchia, Founder and President of LTI, Leadership Transformations, Inc.
Over the past 18 years, LTI has been helping local church leaders to cultivate vibrant spirituality and attentive discernment among Christian leaders and teams.
Says Steve, “If you’re on a solid team working with the right people who share a common vision and mission you can conquer any hill in front of you–if you have the right heart to do so.”
If you have the right heart to do so.
Nine little words never mattered so much. It’s the condition of a leader’s heart—your heart—that’s critical for creating and growing the kind of fantastic teams that can help transform your workplace culture and even your organization’s impact.
“How does this happen?” you ask. Answer: Through three realities, below. Each offers an inherent, built-in reward as you shepherd God’s flock—in this case, the teams—under your care.
- First, you can expect to benefit from the fact that fantastic teams exemplify a spirit of partnership and collaboration. Fantastic teams are not about “me” but rather “we” to achieve shared goals and objectives within a department, across departments, or organization wide. Fantastic teams create consensus, direction and momentum to establish, grow and sustain a flourishing culture.
For this to happen, you need Godly leaders, with God-gifted talent on teams who can work toward God-honoring results.
A great example of this is Joe Castleberry, President of Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington near Seattle. Their dramatic culture turnaround hinged on six commitments, which Joe and his team stewarded. This involved recognizing and serving people throughout the university community. In doing so, they lived out NU’s mission, to “carry the call of God by continually building a learning community dedicated to spiritual vitality, academic excellence, and empowered engagement with human need.” Out of this lived integrity has come what Joe calls, “The Northwest Way,” a distinctive brand identity synonymous with a growing healthy workplace culture of a Christian University on the rise.
- Second, your decision to build fantastic teams can renew your commitment to love and follow Jesus.
Steve says it this way: “As the leader goes, so goes the organization. More importantly, as the soul of the leader goes, so goes the leader.”
“I can’t think of a higher priority than my walk with God and my depth of intimacy with Christ,” Steve remarked. “The way in which I’m walking with Christ is evident in the way I’m walking with those around me.
“This ever-deepening intimacy with Christ is our continual pursuit, as leaders. The question we must continually ask ourselves, is:
Are we becoming more like Christ in our attitudes, our actions, our words, and our decisions that affect others and ourselves in our ministry?
“Nothing is more important to how an organization can ultimately flourish than how we choose to live this question.”
- Steve’s conviction sets up a third reality behind building fantastic teams that, by definition:
- demonstrate shared common goals and objectives
- achieved by people with clear roles,
- working collaboratively and leveraging their individual and collective strengths.
It’s no coincidence that Steve captures the essence of fantastic teams in one, very conspicuous word. As he explained, “I drew five principles from a study of 1 Corinthians, primarily chapter 12. Paul is writing to a very troubled and divided church, urging them to be united as a body. In this chapter, the word ‘body’ is repeated 17 times. “Translation: What Paul’s really saying is, ‘I want you to be one. I want you to be a unified body, a team.’ ”
Thus, the five principles of healthy teams:
Without trying, Steve was already taking me to amazon.com where his book, Becoming a Heathy Team, offers a great inside look at TEAMS.
As the leader goes, so goes the organization, but more importantly, as the soul of the leader goes, so goes the leader.”
Every workplace culture, including the one I’m glad to be a part of at BCWI, is a work in progress. When I arrive at the office, or travel to one of our client organizations, every work day is a fresh opportunity to come alongside others, gather, listen, clarify, understand, affirm, and come together as a team.
In that spirit, I resonate with Steve when he said, “Leaders need to pay attention to God’s call and unique thumbprint upon their individual lives. Then, they can invite their ministry team to discern and fulfill God’s collective call to service.”
It’s Your Turn
What affirming stories and conversations come to mind as you think about your team at work? How might you and your colleagues benefit from your collective, give-and-take reflections?
Coming Up Next in on our Continuing Series
“The Eight Ways to Build a Flourishing Workplace,”
“Growing Fantastic Teams”
BCWI Central Region Director
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