Like A Team

A Resource for Christian Leadership Development and Teamwork

Becoming a Better Team Leader?

Becoming a Better Team Leader

Do you want to be a better team leader?  Here are some phrases, ideas and quotes that can help!

  • Serve clients, not self.
  • Just because we could do it doesn’t mean we should do it, and just because we should do it doesn’t mean we could do it (now).
  • Pity the organization that gets everything it wants.
  • Planning is a waste of time if you focus only on what you intend to make happen.  Instead, focus on the unintended and unexpected consequences of what may unexpectedly develop from the plan.   The best plan is the one that surprises you in positive ways and goes beyond your realistic expectations.
  • You will truly know your organization only when you know it like your clients do.
  • Doing it alone is better than not doing it at all.  Doing it together is better.
  • How you work is just as important as what you do.
  • Burnout comes from being out of touch with what you are cut out to do.
  • When you value people solely for their productivity, you quit valuing people.
  • Why is first and worst to define; What comes next and can be heck; How is third and takes more than a word; Who is next in line–don’t overlook the divine; When comes last–remember to focus on the past.
  • Most of us are clueless about how the cars we drive everyday work.  Computers are just a box to us.  And so it is for most of us with the organizations we work in.
  • Organization problems are recognized by almost everyone, but few are willing to talk about them.
  • No teams, no leadership.
  • It’s the leaders who are most likely to be out of touch with the human realities of their own organization.
  • Organizations that lack teamwork, lack momentum, stability, morale, and the capacity to improve and change.  They also get increasingly out of touch with reality.
  • To have teamwork, a team must have:
    · Frequent interaction of its members
    · Bonding through work, not superficial socializing
    · Communication transparency
    · Mutual interdependency
  • What is best for clients is better sensed through interdependent team members than through isolated individuals.
  • The deeper the relationships of people who work together, the better they can impact the mission.
  • The best way for people to really get to know each other is through working together, not through “fellowshipping.”
  • Accountability is a group phenomenon.  You can’t hold yourself accountable.
  • You can’t expect to drain the Pacific Ocean dry dipping it out one cup at a time, so don’t burn yourself out trying.
  • The only poor people are those who have no one to serve.
  • How would your community be different without you?  How would you be different without your community?
  • The more invisible your contributions are, the better.
  • How much do you cost your organization and its members when you don’t fulfill your responsibilities?
  • What would happen if you never used the word “I” again?
  • The prescription for happiness.  Something to do, something to look forward to, someone to love.  (Elvis Presley)
  • As a general rule, the more you’re paid, the more you have to serve your organization.  The less you’re paid, the more you can serve people.
  • Bureaucracies see people as things.
  • What you can do is not nearly as important as what your organization can do through you.
  • The team leaders’ main job is not to “get stuff done”—it’s to create a fertile climate for service and productivity that empowers team members to get it done.
  • Pep talks and pressure don’t produce commitment in others—but participation sure does.
  • Management techniques designed for the secular world fit service organizations like a Harley-Davidson chopper fits Queen Elizabeth.
  • People are motivated by sacrifice on behalf of others—not by routine comfort
  • How idealistic people work together is just as important as what they produce.  Right things must be done in right ways.
  • The best way for leaders to succeed is for organization members to want them to.  Good members make good leaders.
  • Teams work best when their members feel competent, productive, appreciated, and unique.  This can happen only when the committee merges into a true team.
  • Committees focus on productivity; teams focus on people.
  • Autocratic decisions are easy to make but hard to implement.
  • The only good goal is one that clearly benefits others.
  • Committees try to make things happen, while teams wait for them to happen (via creating a fertile organizational environment).
  • The best way to change another person is to change your relationship with them.
  • Build relationships, build people.
  • The best contributions are the unexpected ones, which only teamwork can produce.
  • You can’t lead people until you value them.
  • Autocratic decisions are easy to make but the devil to implement.
  • Interdependent people are stronger and more productive than independent people.
  • You can’t lead people until you value them.
  • No trust, no productivity.
  • Leadership is not possible in the absence of a team.
  • Your organization is gonna be in financial trouble when you try to turn wants into needs.  Pity the organization that gets everything it wants.
  • Don’t wait for decisions to work–make them work through teamwork.
  • Going against the grain is tough, but well worth it.  In fact, it’s the only option.
  • If you were looking for a job, would you take your tools to the bustling construction project across the street, or would you go over to the abandoned building across town and labor alone?
  • Are you a gatekeeper or empowerer?
  • The seed is potential productivity.  Organization culture is the soil.  Serving others is the crop.
  • Is your organization’s culture frozen tundra, a sweltering desert, or a tropical oasis?
  • People with interpersonal skills recharge, rather than drain, the batteries of others.
  • It’s much easier to pull people along than to push them around.
  • Pain makes us grow up.
  • Sometimes it’s best to approach the world as we would like it to be rather than the way it actually is.
  • Some say what you do is the most important thing; others say it’s how you do it.  Actually, it’s both.
  • The only real solution for conflict is sacrifice.
  • When the empire builders say, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way,” get out of the way.
  • What you feed grows.
  • Rigid people hurt people.
  • Some do the right thing in the wrong way.  Others do the wrong thing in the right way.  But steer clear of those who do the wrong thing in the wrong way!
  • Definition of a board of directors:  People who are out of touch with the organization they purport to oversee.
  • The biggest problem we face in today’s disjointed world is how to stay connected to reality.
  • Single best way to check your motives is to ask, who am I doing this for?
  • PR stands for Perverting Reality.
  • Institutions don’t exist; only people do.
  • A mediocre organization is one that benchmarks other organizations.
  • Want to go out a limb to champion a cause?  Hold your fire until you meet these 3 criteria: (1) You’re acting on behalf of what is right, not from self-interest; (2) You have an insider’s big picture perspective of the facts (so you’re not acting out of mere opinion); (3) You understand the implications of your actions and are willing to live with their consequences for yourself and others.
  • You know you’re doing a great job when people start taking you for granted.
  • The only way you can support a boss who has character flaws is to make those character flaws your own.
  • Backing a leader who lacks character is like betting on a lame horse at the racetrack.
  • Which is worse: to do what you don’t want to do, or to do what you don’t know how to do?
  • Agendas destroy.
  • How long can the people stay innocent when the leaders are corrupt?
  • They thought that imposing their own will and agenda on the organization was leadership.
  • They were more concerned with saving face than with saving the organization.
  • They were decision-avoiders instead of decision-makers.
  • All out of vision and no place to go.

Phil Van Auken

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