If you are looking for a book on leading teams especially with a focus on church-settings this is one of my top recommendations.
There is much of this book that can be immediately applied to a team you lead in a ministry setting. If you are looking to achieve greater clarity of purpose for your team, a better collaborative environment, determine who should or shouldn’t be on your lead team, trouble-shoot areas where your team may be underperforming to potential, help a team that is not good at communicating and resolving conflict, learn the best ways to resolve conflict in your team, help your team get better at making decisions (while learning faster decision making is not always better) than this is the book for you!
It challenged my views both as a team leader and as a team member. What I have observed is when a church is smaller it is easier to collaborate with others in various areas however, as a church grows it is normal to move into areas of specificity and take a less collaborative approach. While in many ways this is a good thing for top leadership teams this can also be harmful.
A couple of my top takeaways from this book can be found here:
- 6 Lessons for Ministry Leaders
- Clarity in Teams
- Favorite Quotes and Highlights from Teams That Thrive
In addition to the three articles above, at the bottom of this page is a summary of the 5 disciplines, and Table A.1 from the Appendix of the book with the TOP TEN TIPS to help your team thrive.
Discipline 1: Focus on purpose, the invisible leader of your team.
Great teams pursue a shared purpose that prioritizes making decisions together rather than advising one member who then makes key decisions. Mediocre teams spend most of their time advising the lead pastor, sharing information and coordinating operations, but they rarely go beyond that point. Exceptional leadership teams work together to do the most important strategic work in the church— making critical decisions—regularly and continually.
Discipline 2: Leverage differences in team membership.
Great teams pursue diversity in personality, background and perspective rather than democracy or uniformity. Mediocre teams have too many people with the same gifts, styles and backgrounds, or seek to include too many persons. Exceptional leadership teams are small, diverse and consist of members with complementary skills who concentrate their work on the leadership team.
Discipline 3: Rely on inspiration more than control to lead.
Outstanding teams prioritize leadership through relationship-based inspiration rather than role-based giving of directives. Leaders of mediocre teams prioritize control and directive leadership and neglect the development of positive working relationships. Leaders of exceptional teams focus on transformational leadership and the building of trust that together inspire and free the leadership team to perform with excellence while maintaining solid relationships.
Discipline 4: Intentionally structure your decision-making process.
While mediocre leadership teams make decisions in an unstructured, haphazard manner, exceptional leadership teams utilize a careful, step-by-step process while seeking God for his perspective and leading when making decisions.
Discipline 5: Build a culture of continuous collaboration.
Exceptional teams meet with intentionality, utilize collaboratively developed agendas and work together continuously to make the most of meetings. In contrast, mediocre teams tend to limit their collaboration to scheduled team meetings, and even when they meet, they fail to recognize the benefits of effective meetings.