Maximizing Your Team

How’s that weekly staff meeting going for you?

Church leadership and staff teams get bogged down by the day-to-day grind, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  When vision is established, creating a plan of attack is critical in reaching the big goals, but it’s also necessary to keep your team motivated, encouraged, and making real progress.

Think about your regular team meetings.  Are they much the same each week, or are they really helpful in moving your church closer to the prize?  Below are five simple, but effective habits for maximizing your team.

The podcast audio is available below, or you can watch the video version of this episode on Facebook or YouTube.

1. Define the next win to the big goal.

Achieving vision doesn’t happen overnight and strategy implementation is a long-term process built on a commitment to focus. When the big picture is all a staff sees, some will get lost in the dream while others will get discouraged by the distance between the dream and reality. Yes, set long-term vision and challenging performance goals each year, but in your staff meetings, focus on the win for this week that takes you closer to the big goals. Always cast what’s priority in light of the big picture, but channel your team’s energy towards what can be accomplished this week. 

2. Determine the critical pathways.

Defining the next win sounds great, but you need to know how to get there. When I was the project manager for a campus building project, I worked every week with our contractor to define the step-by-step pathway that was necessary to hit our weekly, monthly, and overall project goals. It can help to map out your goals with your team, and work together to set benchmarks and align responsibilities.

3. Prune the waste from your schedule.

In his fantastic book essentialism, Greg McKeowen states, “You cannot underestimate the unimportance of practically everything.” Where is your team wasting effort on things that are ostensibly important but are actually almost useless? Take time for staff to list out their time breakdown, and encourage them to eliminate 20% of it by classifying it as a total waste of time. 

4. Manage the minutiae.

There will be things in your week that are tedious but necessary. Follow the Pareto Principle, and don’t allow your 20% most powerful effort to go towards these things. Relegate the minutiae to your least valuable time, and delegate as much as possible. No one can eliminate all of their busy work, but teams can demote it so that it doesn’t consume their week.

5. Celebrate the progress.

Each week, celebrate the quick win you aimed for the previous week. If you didn’t attain your goal, celebrate what was accomplished, and talk about how you can hit the current week’s goal. Your team needs to believe that your church is actually working towards something, that the payoff is worth it, and the journey itself is rewarding. No one wants to end their week feeling like they were in a hamster wheel: running their hardest only to finish in the same place they started. Mark progress and celebrate it. 

Here’s the bottom line.  Ask yourself this question: would I be willing to sacrifice an inch of progress in a hundred directions if I could gain a mile in one direction? Does this mean that there would be a drop-off in productivity somewhere? Yes. But if you can build team clarity around what truly matters most in the weekly grind, you’ll finally gain momentum towards your vision and accomplish bold performance goals. I imagine you’d take that trade every day of the week.

Scott Ball is the Vice President and a Lead Guide with The Malphurs Group. He lives in East Tennessee with his wife and two children. (Email Scott).

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