One of the greatest sins a “leader” can commit is to work alone. Good leadership equips, empowers, trusts, and releases. The best way to do this is through teams, and this is a good definition of team. “A team is a group organized to work together to accomplish a set of objectives that cannot be achieved effectively by individuals.”
Teamwork is the wisest means by which to contribute to an organization. An organization that does not use teams is limited by the capabilities of its weakest or most fearful leader.
Weak leaders function like log jams that slow everyone else down or even prevent forward motion. Fears, vested interests, ego, or prejudices can hamper the health and effectiveness of an organization.
That’s why teams are important. In teams, everyone has a vital role to play, everyone is empowered to contribute, and every opinion is important in the formation of direction. Teams also require humility to function correctly. A “leader” with huge ego issues will not be able to function in a team setting; it will be too threatening.
The same article about teams, quoted above, has a set of guidelines for team membership. The whole list is not printed here, but note the emphasis on individual contribution in the items listed.
- Contribute ideas and solutions
- Recognize and respect differences in others
- Value the ideas and contributions of others
- Listen and share information
- Be flexible and respect the partnership created by a team — strive for the “win-win”
Autocratic and egotistic leaders are only able to reach to their personal limits. In team work, individual commitment usually transcends the team. A team outperforms an individual and all reasonable expectations given to its individual members. That is, a team has a synergistic effect…one plus one equals a lot more than two.
Jesus understood the importance of “team” and its ability to transform individuals. He took 12 men who, individually, could never have accomplished what they did as a team in a few short years. During his three years with them, he empowered them, allowed them to fail, and when needed, supplied specific teaching.
Teamwork is vital to healthy organizations, business or religious. An individual that tries to “lead” by himself is a danger to progress and growth, because he will function like a governor on a motor and slow the organization to his own limitations.