Saturday, May 22, 2010

Building a team - 3 principles

One of the first things I had to be about in my new role was to start building an operations team of staff and interns for the upcoming school year (2010-11). Fortunately, we already had three full-time staff that had been functioning valiantly despite not having someone to lead them in any focused way over the last couple years. But, to really think about getting after the three things (clean up messes, change the culture, and increase communication) we had to grow the team and "get more people on the bus". The quickest way to do that, and probably the best strategy in developing long term capacity, was to start recruiting graduating students to intern for a year doing operations.

One of the phrases I heard from Andy Stanley on his leadership podcast a while ago was "Only do what only you can do." In this case, the person best positioned to recruit and build a NW operations team well is clearly the operations director. There will certainly be help needed from others, but no one will be able to give that as much time and focus as the point person for operations leadership in the region. 

Here are a few principles I've discovered/had pointed out related to building a team. Assumed is that the people we are recruiting have surrendered their life to Christ and feel called to serve him the rest of their life in some definite or indefinite way. While I am thinking in terms of operations, I think these principles can be exported to broad contexts:

1. People want to be pursued
2. People want to use their gifting/area of strength
3. People want to be on a team

I'll expand more on each of these three in the future, as well as some of the specific actions and technologies I've used to build my team for the upcoming year. While we will certainly not be overstaffed, we're going to have five great interns joining us to use their gifts as part of our NW Operations team!

Would you agree that ministry leaders, regardless of their specific role, should always be building capacity by recruiting others to the mission? Are there any principles you would add to the above list?

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