Let’s talk a little about staff culture and leadership. How do you create a healthy staff culture? How do you define leadership when there are so many different opinions out there of what defines a GREAT leader? I believe it is more simple than we think. Leadership is all about influence. And the primary place to start training people for better leadership is the team you oversee or are part of. Creating a healthy staff culture is not easy, but it’s one of the most important things any leader or organization can do.
At the church I serve, New North Church, we have what we call our “Team Commandments”. They are a simple way to break down what defines a healthy staff culture and leadership team. Let’s look at each of them:
1 LEAD YOURSELF
Truth is, everything rises and falls on leadership, and the most important person to lead is yourself. You are responsible to lead yourself well so you can lead others well. Your leadership flows from your relationship with Jesus, so your most important meeting of the day is connecting with him. We care about the heart of a leader first, and the results of a leader second. Staying encouraged and excited about Jesus = healthy leadership. (Deut. 6:5)
2 CREATE A HEALTHY STAFF CULTURE
“The single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organizational health” (Patrick Lencioni). We will work hard at building a staff team that trusts each other and deals with conflict in a healthy way. We also will keep short accounts with each other and deal with issues as they arise. (John 13:35, Eph. 4:26)
3 LEAD LIKE A SHEPHERD NOT A “HIRED HAND”
We are all called to care for people which involves shepherding not just organizing programs. Shepherding takes an investment of time. We don’t use people to get things done, we pastor people and help them find fulfillment through knowing and serving Jesus. (John 10)
4 EQUIP LEADERS AND DELEGATE OFTEN
To achieve our mission to “make and mature more followers of Christ” we must prioritize equipping leaders for the work of ministry. The temptation is to do it all ourselves. Spread ownership for our mission by delegating authority not tasks. Know, love, equip, and empower leaders who will multiply. Who are the people you are investing in? (Eph. 4:12)
5 KEEP GRACE IN YOUR TRUTH-TELLING AND TRUTH IN YOUR GRACE-GIVING
Jesus, in his life and ministry, did not strike a balance between grace and truth, he was the full embodiment of both. He brought the full measure of grace and truth. Grace (undeserved love) is a relational reality that creates a culture of humility, honesty, freedom, regular repentance, joy, prayer, encouragement, excitement, and celebration. We also want to speak the truth in love, even in tense situations. In every situation, assume there is something about the situation/person that you do not fully understand. Make assuming the best about people your first reaction. Seek to understand. (John 1:14-17)
6 WORK HARD, PLAY HARD AND REST WELL
Leadership is a stewardship, it is temporary and God has given you the responsibility to lead well. We want to work hard at everything we do “as working for the Lord, not for men”. Work hard now, so you can play hard later. Take God seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Make life and leadership as fun as you possibly can. More fun = more impact and less burnout. (Col. 3:23)
What ONE Team Commandment do YOU need to focus on this week?