The Battle of Britain, lasting from Aug. 8 to Oct. 31, cost the Germans 2,375 planes destroyed in daylight alone and more at night. It cost the British 375 pilots killed and 358 wounded. A handful of RAF fliers had saved Britain, and perhaps the world from destruction. Do you remember how Winston Churchill spoke for his people? “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few!” That victory was achieved, you see, not by the top-ranking generals, the brass hats, the big shots, but by young men---a team---playing and fighting . . . and dying together. (Peter Marshall, Mr. Jones, Meet the Master)

Your leadership succeeds with the teams---the men and women God knits together into a team; sharing the same vision, communicating and listening well, enjoying each other, and valuing each other’s contributions. Ken Blanchard says it well, “None of us is as smart as all of us together.”

Great Trait No. 6: Great Teams Value Constructive Disagreement and Healthy Tension

Every team, even the great ones, have disagreement and conflict. It’s a given. If there are no disagreements someone isn’t thinking.

 

Patrick Lenconi (The Five Dysfunctions of a Team) suggests there are real differences between teams that avoid conflict like the plague and those that approach conflict productively.

TEAMS THAT FEAR CONFLICT:

•have boring meetings

•ignore controversial topics that are critical to team success

•fail to tap into all the opinions and perspectives of team members

•play politics outside the team meetings

•take forever to solve problems

 

TEAMS THAT ENGAGE IN CONFLICT:

 

•have lively, interesting meetings

•extract and explore the ideas of all team members

•solve real problems quickly

•minimize politics

•put critical topics on the table for discussion.

 

The issue is handling disagreement properly. DISAGREEMENT is necessary, but it must not grow into DIVISION.

 

Here are some pointers:

•Members must be free and feel safe to express opinions even if they disagree with others.

•Allow for differences to be expressed.

•Don’t avoid differences or make compromises to benefit the short term.

Great Trait No.7: Great Teams Believe in Shared Work/Shared Glory

On a great team, everyone shares together in the joy and glory of an accomplished task. No soccer player wins a game by himself or herself. All the players are needed to score the goal and all the players share in the victory.

MY PERSONAL SUCCESS AS A TEAM MEMBER IS MEASURED BY THE SUCCESS OF OUR TEAM.

NOT: “Look what I did”

BUT: “Look what we accomplished”

SERVANT LEADERS ALONE DON’T MAKE ANYTHING GREAT. SERVANT LEADERSHIP IS A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY. YOU NEED OTHERS, AND THEY NEED YOU.

The last two traits of a great team next time. . .

 

Fred Campbell is the President of Living Grace Ministries and the former pastor of Grace Church of Ovilla. He can be reached at fred@livinggraceministries.com OR www.livinggraceminsitries.com