Leadership Values that Need to Be a Part of Your Team

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SunsetWhether you know it or not, the team you’re a part of has a set of values that determine how things get done and how the team members treat one another. When you think about teams you’ve been on or are currently on, chances are you either like or dislike what being on that team feels like. That’s because each team is different, and a team’s values—spoken or unspoken—affect how team members act, get things done, and treat each other. Great teams seem to get a lot done, and unhealthy teams seem to stall or not go anywhere at all. Talent certainly has something to do with it, but generally teams that are healthy accomplish more. If you’re a leader of a team, these values need to be a part of your team:

1) Stewardship over ownership

Whomever you lead and whatever your team does, this much is true: it wasn’t yours before you got it, and it will be someone else’s when you’re done. Any hint of “I built this” is dangerous to your team. Instead, this attitude needs to be part of your team: “We didn’t build it; we received it. We will hand it over to someone else one day, so let’s do that well.”

2) Risk over perfection

Nothing kills creativity and courage like an expectation of perfection. Your team should be free to take risks, and free to fail. If you’ve got a big vision, you’ll take big risks. Leaders who aren’t allowed to fail will either wither or leave.

3) We over me

If you’re a team, be a team. Win as a team, lose as a team, and never throw someone else under the bus. Teams that get this will always accomplish more than teams whose members are looking out for number one. “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

4) Long term over short term

Great leaders have a knack for dreaming about what could be beyond the next few months. But it’s not just up to the senior leader to dream. It’s not that focusing on present issues isn’t important, but when a team dreams together and is in it for the long haul rather than just this Sunday or the next event, big things can happen.

5) Mercy over judgment

Yeah, I stole that one from James. Your team is full of people who are a mess. Some days that’s probably more evident than others. How you handle it when a team member messes up sets the tone for how your team works together. Everyone screws up sometimes, so injecting a good amount of grace into those moments will tell your team they should treat one another that way. This doesn’t mean you can’t hold people accountable, but there’s a way to do that without making people feel about two inches tall.

What values would you add?

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