“Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too” Philippians 1:4

As we grow older, some of us gain wisdom and humility. Others become bitter and reactive. The fork in the road determining whether we become bitter or better has much to do with how we process the troubles in life and the relationships that did not work out as we might have hoped.

In this article, I hope to strengthen your team-building outlook by considering how to apply the Scripture above in the context of building like-minded teams:

Seek to Understand

Yesterday, I met with a potential new team member. Most of our time together was invested in learning about his history, his values, and his life situation. This is important because those things often determine if working together will be a good fit.

In fact, they are just as important as one’s temperament or skill-sets. We often fool ourselves into believing things that are false because we simply act too quickly. We take short-cuts in hiring because we are busy and we need to get things done. It’s really true that most of us do not appreciate how difficult and time consuming the hiring process SHOULD be.

Acquire Generosity

I have a new rule. Every team member I bring on will be generous. Jack Welch has an article about finding the generosity gene. In it, he explains how generous people transform environment and create positive growth. These are the kind of people you need on your team because they will put your interests, the organization, and the customer’s needs in focus. These kind of people are game changers! If you’ve been a leader, you are well acquainted with the “pay-check only” type of team member. What we need on our team is the “And Then Some” members. These are those who do what is expected… and then some!

It Starts with You

You’ve heard it said, “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” This is certainly true. Each of us will make progress in this life metric by practicing three disciplines:

1. The discipline of purpose. What is my life purpose and how does it help my team, my organization, and my relationships?

2. The discipline of presence. These smart phones are great but they can also be distracting. They have increased an already existing problem for our relationships and conversations. When we are with another person, we truly honor them by being present. Why is the incoming text, email, or phone call more important than the person standing right in front of us?

3. The discipline of being positive. We all have problems and challenges but we MUST be people who are bent on solving them. A leader cannot and does not bring a problem to the team without seeing possible solutions. She even sees the “problem” as an opportunity for the team to work together and get a “win” thus experiencing real community and teamwork. Leaders are positive people and they are certainly problem solvers. Problem Solvers!

My purpose in life is to serve by shaping character in the lives of leaders and organizations. I truly count it a privilege serving you!


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