The “I” In Team

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There’s no “I” in team.  Ever heard that?  It’s not true.  There actually is.  Maybe not in the spelling of the word, but certainly in the function of it.  In fact, your “I” as a leader is an extremely important part of team.  And on several levels:

“I” will LEAD my team.

Teams need to be led.  A team without leadership is simply a small group.  They’ll have wonderful discussions, great refreshments and warm, caring fellowship.  Problem is, they won’t go anywhere.  They need YOU to keep them pointed towards the goal.  They need you to keep them on task.  They need you to make sure that in the pursuit of the important they don’t digress to the convenient. Your team needs you to lead them.

“I” will MODEL for my team.

Teams need you to set the culture.  And trust me, you don’t do that by laying out your latest Values acrostic.  You set the culture for your team by BEING the kind of team member you want them to be.  It will be YOUR commitment to the outcomes, YOUR willingness to sacrifice and YOUR fulfillment of your part that will set the tone for them.  Teams aren’t looking for leadership to simply tell them what they should DO…they’re looking for leadership to show them what they should BE!

“I” will SUPPORT my team.

Often teams need resources that only the leader can provide.  If I ask my team of leaders to get better results but am not willing to lobby the board for the resources they need to achieve that, I am the cause of their failure.  Teams need leaders who will fight for them, protect them against polarizing outside agendas and be a source of encouragement and inspiration when their emotional tank gets low.  Great leaders lift their teams more than they lean on them…and do so in practical and personal ways.  Teams need to know that you are not only out in front them, they need to know you have their backs as well!

You see, there really is an “I” in TEAM.  And if you’re the Leader, then that “I” is YOU!  You may not see it in the word, but you will see it everywhere the team is at work.  Groups of people without good leadership are just simply folks sharing common space and common effort.  But put the “I” in there and…well, then you have yourself a TEAM!

ChilesPost contributed by Steve Chiles, Senior Pastor of Shartel Church of God, in Oklahoma City, OK. He is a coach and consultant with HGC, as well as, providing leadership with the Network Gathering.