Several years ago, I heard John Maxwell make this statement and I’ve never forgotten it. The reason is because, in leadership, the pressure of building the team is always before you. However, the reality of your team is so huge:
1. Your team will make or break your vision. It is impossible to accomplish the dream God has placed inside your heart without a great team making it happen with you. Every leader is keenly aware of this truth. Which adds an element of pressure to the leadership role.
- Do I have the right people on the team?
- Who’s not keeping up?
- Who has the potential to go to the top of this level, but not necessarily the top of the next level?
- What type of team members will we need at the next level?
2. You want everyone to make it to the top with you. I don’t know of a leader who doesn’t have a genuine desire to see everyone on the team win! We all want everyone to be on the podium when we hoist the trophy and declare victory! However, the simple truth of leadership is that that is just not realistic. As much as we would like it to be true, its not. Not everyone is intended to take the entire journey with you.
One of the hardest tests of leadership is developing everyone on the team with your full passion and enthusiasm, even when you are aware that most of them won’t be with you forever.
What I have learned is that, its precisely in the developing of those leaders that the culture we’re trying to create for our organization and the vision we’re aiming for, are solidified. Developing others solidifies the vision God has placed in our heart like nothing else can.
3. You’ll be tempted to hold on to people longer than you should. One great temptation we face as leaders is the temptation to hold on to people too long for many reasons. Perhaps because we feel bad, we’re holding out hope for them, or we just don’t want to have a hard conversation, but when we hold on to someone too long, we do damage to the organization, the vision and the other members of our team.
4. You’ll be tempted to elevate people faster than you should. Especially in the early days of start up, the temptation is great to promote people faster than they should. When the demand and work load is great, we will often rush to appoint someone to a position or title, when in reality, they’re not ready for the responsibility that comes with that position.
5. There’s a good chance your Ultimate Team is a few drafts away. As much as we would like for it to be otherwise, the truth is, our dream team probably won’t come together on the first try. For most leaders, it will take several hires and fires, appointments and moves to get a team around them that is a long-term team capable of going the distance and seeing the vision fulfilled.
Don’t get discouraged by it. If we will keep pouring ourselves into the leaders God brings around us, keep having the hard conversations, and keep focused on what He’s called us to do, the team will emerge, the cream will rise and our Ultimate Team will arise.
The pressure of building a team is something a leader has to deal with on a daily basis, but I’m convinced that if we’ll stay faithful to it, it can be one of the most fulfilling parts of our leadership role.