6 Practices for Leading a Team

Posted by Jack Warren, Executive Pastor, on Jan 01, 2019

6 Practices for Leading a Team

Marcus Buckingham says that there is a big difference between leading and managing. I agree 100%. The best organizational leaders communicate hope through vision. The best team leaders make that vision happen through people. My guess is that you manage some people in some way, whether they are your kids, volunteer team members, or paid staff members. How do the best managers do it? Here are six behaviors that the best managers consistently do.

  1. They collaboratively create a simple plan/strategy with measurable results. People need ownership with the plan so that they buy into it. It is always better when it is “our plan” and not “their” plan. This takes more time to create, but the results and the morale will be worth the time. The plan also needs to be simple. You want people to be able to remember the vision and the plan. You want them to be able to share it with others without having to download a document.
  2. They provide clear expectations for each person on the team while connecting it to the plan and the vision. People need to know specifically what to do and how it connects to the big picture. Guess work with expectations is cruel management. Clarity around expectations will provide a target, motivation, and satisfaction for goal-oriented people.
  3. They study team members to find their best contributions. Some tests are helpful with this, but no test replaces observation and time to see the greatness in people. Interview for positions initially, but study people for placement. In interviews, be thinking about what they could do later for the team, not what they are applying for currently.
  4. They make development of people their number one goal. They know their primary function is developing people. They provide learning opportunities, coaching, and give feedback on a consistent basis. They don’t wait for annual reviews to give feedback. They also empower other coaches to help in the development of people. People receive coaching best from a person who doesn’t give them their paycheck. People will obey a judge, but they will eagerly follow a coach.
  5. They care for the people on the team. This is true of the best leaders and managers. The most important customer is their team, not the people who buy the product. Care needs to be shown in a variety of ways. It needs to be felt in the culture. People need to see care in their manager’s eyes, hear it in their voice, and see it in their actions. If you don’t naturally do this, it will be important to create a system that forces you to do this. Systems can help with skills that aren’t intuitive.
  6. They celebrate their team members through affirmation, recognition, and promotion. People will often say things like “I don’t like to be publicly appreciated” or “I don’t do my work for recognition.” I get it. It can be uncomfortable, but I have never had a person come back and say please don’t ever thank me again. In fact, almost everyone comes back and shares how it meant so much to them to be appreciated. Affirm constantly, recognize achievement systematically, and promote from within. This will create a culture that people will love.

Discussion Questions

  • Do you agree with the difference between leading and managing? Say more about that.
  • What are some simple ways to communicate clear expectations?
  • How have people helped you discover your unique strengths?
  • As for care and celebration, share a few things that you are either currently doing or could start doing to create a caring celebratory culture?

Share This:

Recent Stories

Swipe to Discover more

Behind the Song: "All of My Heart"

Aug 10, 2022

Songwriter Chris Opie shares a glimpse behind the powerful moment that inspired the new Chase Oaks Worship single, "All of My Heart." Read more, here.

Keep Calm and Parent On: Back to School Edition

Aug 07, 2022

How can parents help their kids gear up for a great year ahead? By being intentional, we can be the life coaches our kids need to be successful, at school and in life.

How To Survive a High School Lock-In

Aug 03, 2022

What happens when a grown adult is voluntarily locked inside a space with a group of high schoolers for a whole night? Read more, here.

Surprised by Church: A Social Recluse's Journey

Jul 31, 2022

Like faith itself, our relationship with a faith community is a unique one that can shift over time. Read about one person's story of relating to—and being surprised by—the church.

Respite Nights Make a Difference

Jul 28, 2022

The Local Good Center and Chase Oaks Foster Care/Adoption Team are helping to meet huge and often-hidden needs in our own backyard. Read about how they are making a difference, here.

Two Essential Back-to-School Checklists

Jul 24, 2022

BACK TO SCHOOL. Whether those words prompt panic or joy, we all want to make this year a great one for the kids. Use the following two checklists (one for “checking off” and one for “checking in”) to make sure everyone is ready to go!

A Process for Making Wise Decisions

Jul 21, 2022

Great decision-making is a critical leadership skill. Chase Oaks Executive Pastor Jack Warren shares a simple, proven process for how to make wise decisions.

Discovering a Passion for Mental Health

Jul 17, 2022

Cindy Park's path has led her from personal counseling to pursuing a new career as a professional counselor. Read more about her journey and newfound passion for mental health, here.

5 Reflection Questions To End Each Day

Jul 10, 2022

How can we prioritize mental and emotional health more? One time-tested way: building a regular habit of self-reflection. Start by asking yourself these 5 simple questions at the end of each day.

How To Be an Influencer Who Leads Others

Jul 07, 2022

Being an "influencer" can mean many different things. Executive Pastor Jack Warren shares key steps for leaders to grow in the kind of influence that puts others first.