Have you ever sat in a meeting and found yourself checked out to what the leader of the team is saying, or disengaged from what should be happening in the meeting? Have you finished a meeting and wondered “what did we just accomplish in the last 2 hours?” Have you lead a team meeting only to look around the room and see almost everyone disengaged from the topic? If you have you are not alone.
I am currently reading a book called Teams That Thrive. One of the key insights of this book comes in Chapter 7 as the author describes one of the essential elements of a team that is more than good but one that thrives.
Of the teams the author(s) surveyed in their extensive research project, 75% of the teams indicated a lack of clarity around the purpose of the team itself.
Too many team members don’t have a clear sense of what, specifically they are doing. This is crucial because a team without a clear sense of purpose will wander around in its meetings. They won’t know what is most important for them to tackle, and they will likely spend far too much time on operational minutiae that detracts from tackling meaty issues that will propel the church’s vision forward.
The author states:
If you forget everything else, remember that all teams form around purpose, and they bond by pursuing that purpose.
I reflect back on the various teams I have been a part of and for most of these I cannot recall a specific purpose that I could attach to all of the teams. Some though did have clarity in purpose and those were the teams where the most would be accomplished.
Will Mancini states in “Teams That Thrive”: Clarity isn’t everything but it changes everything.
The work of creating clarity itself is an under-practiced discipline by most leaders. But when a leader is determined to seek and find a greater definition and articulation of what matters most, a bit of magic is released and everyone benefits…Another way to think about it is that creating clarity is logically prior work. You don’t have to do it all the time (it isn’t everything), but whether or not you have it dramatically affects all you do (it changes everything).
Who doesn’t want more clarity? You are busy and have a thousand things to do today. But one ounce of clarity is worth a hundred pounds of activity.
All of us find ourselves as part of a team. Many of us even lead teams. Consider: How would clarity of purpose change a team you are a part of? What can you do to bring more clarity of purpose a team you lead?