Beware of the 3 Teams That Can Steal a Leader’s Heart

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Here’s a question that could reveal an awful lot about the health of your team and your leadership.

“How do you really feel about your present team?”

This isn’t a question about vision, strategy, goals or even competencies. At an important level this is about how the leader actually feels about the team, the organization, the church or the company.

And this really matters.

Because when a leader can authentically say, “I love this team,” it can unleash remarkable potential. Teams will often rise up the level of affection and support demonstrated by their leader.

But when it’s pretty clear the leader is merely doing time with this team, the resulting slump in morale and performance will be palpable.

That’s why it is so important for a leader to be acutely aware of the seductions that can steal their heart away from their present team. Pay particular attention to these 3 seductive teams that can steal a leader’s heart:

1.   The team you want to lead

If you find yourself saying, “I wish I had people on my team who were younger, faster, smarter, more dynamic” you may be falling out of love with your present team. Certainly develop your team, and where necessary make appropriate changes. But don’t overlook the fact that, right now, this is your team. Love them and support them.

2.   Your former team

You might be infatuated with an earlier team you once led. A classic warning sign would be if you find yourself at your team and secretly asking, “Why can’t you be more like my old team?”

3.   Someone else’s team

Team envy kicks in when you look at the talent another leader has assembled and you find yourself wistfully wishing you could just swap your team for theirs.

Other teams can, and should, inspire you. But heed the warning sign when you begin to romanticize them.

To love your present team doesn’t mean to leave them as they are. To quote Bill Hybels, your job is to take them “from here to there”. But it’s these people you are to take on the journey, and to do so requires that you love them without reservation.

So be careful that these “other” teams don’t steal your heart. Because there is a direct link between your love for your team and the health of your team.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Willow Creek Association. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave & Willow and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.

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