Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sticky Teams

Reading a book with our staff called Sticky Teams. It is an insightful book so far. One of the key insights from the first section of the book is that a good deal of the conflict and stress in church leadership is actually not from our sinful broken state. Instead, it stems from the way our organization is structured. Its not a sin problem. Its a systems problem.

An interesting analogy that Larry Osborne uses is that of transitioning from playing one sport to playing another.

Being a track star is likened to that of a small church or new church start where the Pastor tends to be the solo athlete. All eyes are on him as he goes for it.

Golfing with your buddies is like the family sized church. Everything is highly relational. You do life together with the one or two other staff and it is not highly structured because you're already together doing most everything anyways.

Basketball is a more organized team endeavor. While one person may take a good number of the shots, the roles and responsibilities of the rest of the team are huge. Everyone in this context knows what everyone else is or should be doing to help the team succeed. Some of the parts are interchangable. I can go from playing guard to forward in a pinch. The crowd watching at this level is typical larger.

Football is a much bigger experience. The parts are not interchangable. Rarely will you see a Nose tackle take the quarterback's spot. Each role is highly specialized and may not get a ton of pub time. At this level some of the offensive players may never connect relationally with the defensive players. The crowd is much bigger that is experiencing this level of sport.

The point he makes with this is that we need to know which sport we're playing. We can't have a track star mentality if we're in a football game, because that will cause the team to fail.

Generally we are wired well for one of these types of sports in our leadership. We either like to fly solo with a small group watching, connect relationally and casually like the average duffer, be a team player to make the team excel or play a specialized role in a big setting. The key is knowing the game we're playing and then seeking to play it well.

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