W51D6 - Team Building

"Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message
of the Lord to the people: 'I am with you,' declares the Lord.
So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,
governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak,
the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people.
They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty,
their God" - Haggai 1:13-15.

There is an unseen, spiritual dynamic to teamwork that is described in today's passage. First, the prophet Haggai gave the people a vision: to rebuild the Temple. He described in previous verses what the current situation was costing them in lost crops and poverty. Then Haggai assured the people that they would succeed and that God was with them. Then God did His part by stirring the hearts of the people, who volunteered freely to do the work. This included all the 'department heads' and the people themselves. Leaders must learn to tap into the inner work life of followers, who if properly motivated will come together and do greater things as a team than they could ever accomplish as individuals.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to see if you are tapping into that unseen, spiritual aspect of your team's work. Have you provided a clear vision of the new reality for which you are all working? Have you secured the support of key influencers and leaders? Have you prayed for unity, energy and vision so that all the team are moving in the same direction and working toward the same end? Are you continuing to provide encouragement as the team moves forward?

W46D6 - Team Building

"Warn a divisive person once, and then warn
them a second time. After that, have nothing
to do with them" - Titus 3:10.

The Bible makes it clear that God hates pride but He also seems to have a strong dislike for anyone who creates division in teams or organizations. In today's verse, Paul directed Titus to confront a divisive person once, then again and after that to eliminate them from the group or team. This can be difficult to do, for they may be valued, talented and committed team members. Yet talent does not excuse anyone who ruins the unity and harmony of a group, and who refuses to stop. Leadership sometimes has to make the tough decision to confront a bad attitude and, if once doesn't work, to do it again and again. Finally, after many warnings and discussions, the leader may have to show the divisive one to the door.

LEADERSHIP TEAM: Your Step today is to admit if you have been looking the other way to avoid confronting someone on your team, board, or organization who is sowing discord. They may be popular or intimidating, but your job is to sit down today and share how their behavior is affecting others. In your first meeting, set a date for follow up sessions. Eventually, if there is no improvement, you may have to make the tough decision to let them go.

W41D6 - Team Building

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s
eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How
can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’
when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite,
first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly
to remove the speck from your brother’s eye" - Matthew 7:3-5.

These words are among Jesus' earliest and most famous in Matthew's gospel. His advice here was and is sound for anyone in any kind of relationship with anyone else - whether it be family, church, or work teams. In order to help anyone grow, develop or confront their issues (specks), one must first confront his or her issues (planks). This is important for team building, for leaders must not assume the role of superiority and authority unless they are willing to confront the areas of development that are most pressing in their own lives. If leaders don't do that, their vision is blurred when it comes to identifying issues that give them the credibility to speak into the lives of others. What's more, Jesus calls them hypocrites.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to see if you are guilty of hypocrisy. When there is tension on your team, do you tend to blame others and not look at the role you may be playing? How often do you say, "I was wrong, forgive me" instead of "I was wrong, but . . ." and then launch into excuses as to why you acted or spoke as you did? Is there any team dysfunction that you need to take responsibility for right now, asking team members to forgive and help you?

W36D6 - Team Building

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God" - 1 John 4:7.

Love can be increasingly found as a topic of discussion in business circles. It is described as a competitive advantage for teams who not only function well together but also have genuine affection for one another. This may be a revolutionary thought and concept for modern leaders, but it is not a business idea, but rather a God idea! The question of whether leaders are born or made is answered by today's verse, for it clearly states that anyone, including a leader, who loves is born of God. Therefore, loving leaders are 'born of God' and then made, for this kind of love is not a human but rather a divine characteristic that serves and gives just as God does.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to determine whether or not you have incorporated love as one of your leadership values and characteristics. Do you agree that love has a role in your leadership? What tangible evidence can you provide showing love is a trait that finds its way into your leadership style and decisions? What more can you do to manifest Christ's love as you lead? Does love mean simply doing nice things, or can tough love (making difficult decisions that may cause pain but are in the good of the individuals or organization involved) be part of the equation?

W31D6 - Team Building

"One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray,
and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he
called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom
he also designated apostles" - Luke 6:12-13.

Jesus understood the importance of having the 'right' team. Yet after observing His followers, He did not trust His own perspective, but rather invested an entire night in prayer before He made His selection of those who would carry out a special apostolic mission. He then 'called' them to Himself and made His appointments. Leaders should not trust their own perspective where hiring is concerned, but should take their time, find the right people, get the input of others, pray and then make clear how each of their team member's roles fits into the overall mission of the organization.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your team is a critical part of your leadership calling and mission. It is important to locate the right people and then build them into a cohesive team. Your Step today is to once again evaluate your team - the one you have and the one you need. Do you have the right people? Are you trying to make members into who God never intended them to be? Are you expecting world-class results from people who cannot perform at that level?

W26D6 - Team Building

“Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and
all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan
River into the land I am about to give to them—
to the Israelites" - Joshua 1:2.

The Lord addressed these words to Joshua who was poised to take over leadership of the Israelites after Moses' death. Notice that there was a clear succession plan in place so that there was no lack of leadership when Moses 'retired.' Then Joshua became the leader not for some of the people but for all of them, and they probably numbered in the millions. Therefore Joshua had to lead them into their vision or goal - The Promised Land - as one unit, which required clarity of purpose, good communication and delegation of duties and responsibilities.

LEADERSHIP STEP: You will not have your current position forever, which begs the question: Are you training your successor for the job or role you currently hold? Your Step today is to give some thought as to who that person may be and then set out a plan to transfer your knowledge, systems and expertise to that person (there may be more than one) without holding anything back. Then for the sake of the team and organization, have everyone on your team do the same.

W21D6 - Team Building

"Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters" - Hebrews 13:1.

There is no way to build effective teams without involving some measure of love and compassion. Today's verse indicates that there is a challenge to this, for the closer and longer team members work with one another, the more wrinkles and flaws they will see in one another. That will require that they have some bond beyond the mission of the organization that will keep them together and the grease that lubricates the machinery of teamwork is in part made up of love.

LEADERSHIP STEP: How is he love quotient on your work team? Do people care for one another beyond the work of the group? Perhaps it is time to plan an offsite meeting, which can take place for part or all of a day, or for more than one day. During this offsite, plan some fun things with your team like a movie, a play, shopping, team-building exercises or simply spending time talking about things other than work. Your goal is to build memories together as people, not workers.

W16D6 - Team Building

"Even so the body is not made up of
one part but of many" - 1 Corinthians 12:14.

Leaders understand that they are only as good as the team that surrounds them. Paul's analogy of the church being like the human body can also be applied to another business or organization. There are many interrelated parts that must function well together; if one part of that organization is sick or malfunctioning, then the entire entity is rendered 'sick' or 'wounded.' So effective leaders pay close attention to the health and dynamics not only of the team but also of the individual members.

LEADERSHIP STEP: It is common to have an annual physical checkup when your body is evaluated and problems addressed. Your step today is to schedule your annual department or organizational checkup. This will take place at an offsite, away from the normal office or plant routine. It would also be helpful to enlist the services of a consultant to come in and help run the offsite to give leadership another set of eyes and ears to assess your team's health.

W11D6 - Team Building

"These are the names of David’s mighty warriors: Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter" - 2 Samuel 23:8.

King David was a great leader, made so in part because of great followers. He was not threatened by and realized his need for followers and teammates who could produce outstanding results. What's more, they were warriors, so David provided meaningful work that gave them all the opportunity to excel and do what they did best. Then their names were memorialized with David, their feats described for all posterity to read and admire.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Today, give some thought to your team or family members and the work they do and role they serve. Find some way to express your appreciation for their accomplishments. It doesn't have to be big, but it must be personalized. Then ask yourself (and maybe ask them too)  whether or not you are providing significant work opportunities that permit each one of those members to grow and excel. If not, then use your creativity and authority to do so.

W6D6 - Team Building

"Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God" - Exodus 24:13.

Moses started out alone as God called him to go back to Egypt so he could lead his people to the Promised Land. Before he left, God gave him Aaron as his spokesman. Later, God assigned Joshua to be Moses' assistant, and after that, Moses' team was expanded to include faithful men who helped him administer the people and the priests who would oversee worship and the tabernacle. The point is that Moses had a team and it was constantly expanding as his world and duties grew. Moses may not have always wanted a team, but he needed a team, and he submitted to the need as time went on.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Just like Moses, you need a team, which requires you to adjust and adapt your leadership style to include team dynamics like mentoring, team building, delegation, growth, and succession planning. What are you doing to be a more effective member of a team or to help develop your team members? Today, make a list of all your team members, and spend 20 minutes praying for them. Listen and write down anything God shows you about the team or about your need to adapt to their needs and your role as their leader.