This week I was asked by our executive pastor to give a talk to our staff about how to stay unified as a team during a season of transition. Whether you are in a season of transition now or not, everyone in leadership will experience transition. One of the truths that I have learned is that transitions breed uncertainty if we are not careful. I firmly believe that transition seasons can be one of the greatest momentum builders for a team if you navigate them correctly.
- Acceptance: level One – They may or may not agree, but they decide to go along because the cost of objecting—whether real or perceived—is too great.
- Agreement: level Two – People agree with your direction and generally support it. But they are not personally invested or committed to making it happen. You have their minds but not their hearts. This is why you may not experience resistance, but you can’t seem to make things happen.
- Alignment: level Three – People are with you. They are fully committed to making your common vision a reality. They also have your back and the backs of their teammates. They voice their support in public and their concerns in private.
HOW TO STAY UNIFIED AS A TEAM DURING A SEASON OF TRANSITION:
ASK THE HARD QUESTION FIRST: DO YOU TRUST THOSE WHO ARE MAKING THE DECISIONS? Team trust is at the heart of a healthy transition. Where there is no trust there is no unity. Where there is no unity there is no team collaboration and where there is no collaboration there is no progress. If you don’t have trust, you will hate what you do. Because, you don’t trust those who your are transitioning with. It is possible to be in aligned without being in agreement: When a team trusts the leader you can have alignment even if you don’t agree because you have trust. There have been many decisions that our team made that I was not in agreement with but because I trusted them, I was still able to have alignment. When you have trust you can disagree but stay unified.
CARE MORE ABOUT THE TEAM THAN YOUR POSITION: In order to do this, you have to really enjoy what you do! It is very easy during a time of transition to look at what you have been called to lead, wrap your arms around it and protect it from someone else. Although it is natural does not make it right! When we do this, we are more focused on what we are doing personally than what we are doing collectively. You can never be unified if you are concerned first about your ball.
CELEBRATE THE SUCCESS OF OTHERS: One of the best ways to care more about the team than the position is to celebrate the success of others. No matter how small their success may be. I think the main reason we don’t celebrate the success of others is because we are too insecure. Celebrating others makes war with your own insecurities.
- Do you trust those on your team?
- Do you care more about your position or the team?
- Do you find yourself complaining more than celebrating?
- Is there someone that you are not unified with and need to talk with them? How do I know if I have disunity with them? Have you complained about them to someone else?