Ever notice how some of the great philosophies of life are etched on T-shirts? You might say TRUTH ON A T. Here's one. A bunch of guys are clinging to a rope for dear life with the words, “TEAM: 24 Guys Hanging on the Same Rope.” That's it. That's team attitude. If you don't hang together, you'll hang separately.
So you're a leader, hopefully a servant leader relinquishing whatever it takes to serve. . . LIKE JESUS. How's your team? JESUS HAD ONE. Do you have one or are you still hung up on the idea that leadership is a one-man show?
We were designed to function in connected, interdependent relationships with other people. God started it years ago when He said in Genesis 2:18, “It is not good for the man to be alone”; so He created for Adam a helper, someone suitable to him, i.e. a team member. Human beings (male and female) were created with a need to intertwine their lives with others.
We were made to be team players. A marriage is a team. A family is a team. A ball club is a team. A business is a team. A government office is a team, and so is a church.
What makes a good team? Why do some teams click and others don't? What's the difference between effective and ineffective teams? Someone asked baseball philosopher Yogi Berra, “What makes a good manager?” He responded, “A great team.”
GREAT TRAITS OF A GREAT TEAM
Great Trait #1: Unified around a Shared Vision.
Vision is a clear and compelling picture of the future, which produces passion in the leader. It's this passion people want to follow. VISION LEAKS OUT.
Everything starts with a vision God gives the leader, who in turn passes it on to the other leaders. Vision gives direction. If you don't know where you're going, you may wind up somewhere else. Vision keeps you on target.
“Vision is the essence of leadership. Knowing where you want to go requires three things: Having a clear vision, articulating it well, and getting your team enthusiastic about sharing it. Above all, any leader must be consistent. As the Bible says, no one follows an uncertain trumpet.”
Father Theodore Hesburgh, former President of Notre Dame University
Nehemiah never blew an uncertain trumpet. He was one of the great ones in the Old Testament Hall of Fame of Servant Leaders. His leadership vision started with a gruesome report about his beloved Jerusalem. The city was under great distress---walls broken down, gates burned to ashes, temple smashed, few survivors, others deported to Babylon.
Nehemiah confesses the mess and the nation's sin to God, then schedules an Uber ride to Jerusalem. Once there he hangs out for three days touring the city at night, just walking around, perhaps praying out loud, wondering what God has in mind.
In 2:17 of his book, Nehemiah rallies the city leaders and people together and casts a powerful vision. “You see the bad situation WE are in. OUR city is wiped out. Come. Let US rebuild the wall of Jerusalem.” That's the vision---a clear and compelling picture of the future. The leaders and people bought it. “Let US arise and build!”
In Chapter 3, everyone worked together—city leaders, religious leaders, families, everyone working, no one working alone.
Catch this. In 6:15, “the wall was completed in 52 days;” in 6:16, “The enemies/nations surrounding us recognized THIS WAS THE WORK OF GOD.”
Anyone said of your work lately? “IT'S THE WORK OF GOD.”
TEAMWORK BEGINS WITH A SERVANT LEADER'S VISION.
More next time. . .