Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions 5 Trends in Team Leadership No Leader Can Ignore in 2018

5 Trends in Team Leadership No Leader Can Ignore in 2018


I’m not pretending all these trends are logically consistent…they’re just trends.

As much as leaders today are motivated by working for a mission, most under-40 leaders also approach life as though they are working for themselves, not for you, whether you hire them as employees or on contract.

Sure, that might sound strange, but hang on and try to get into their head space for a minute.

First, any younger leader realizes they will likely NOT work for the same organization for 40 years and retire. Not only are the pension plans of the ’60s and ’70s long gone, but the workforce changes so quickly that most younger leaders expect to have multiple careers throughout their life, not just multiple jobs in different organizations.

Second, thanks to technology, the start-up culture is huge. Many leaders realize they can start things far easier than people could a generation ago. You can influence the world through your keyboard, your phone or a microphone. It used to cost millions to launch something. Now you can launch something on a Saturday morning for the price of a phone.

Third, we live (rightly or wrongly) in an era of personal branding. Couples have logos and fonts. And almost everyone wants to express their style through fashion, design, photography or lifestyle.

What this means is that most younger workers have subconsciously realized they have to create a life plan that’s independent of any employer or organization.

This isn’t fatal to any organization once you understand it.

What it means though, as a leader, manager or boss, is that you need to come alongside them and help them realize their objectives.

If you see those life objectives as competing with your objectives, you’ll lose people. If they see that you want them to win, they’ll hang around a long time.

Here’s the bottom line with young leaders: If you help young leaders win, you’ll both win. If you merely want them to help you win, you’ll lose.


Money helps, but money isn’t everything.

Most employers are familiar with the studies that show that once a worker reaches a certain amount of pay (approximately $75,000) a year, money becomes less and less of a motivator.

Don’t get me wrong, there will always be greedy people who can never make enough, but for the most part, once basic needs and wants are met, money becomes less attractive to people.

Which means that you can’t make people loyal simply by paying them more or even overpaying them in the hope they won’t leave. Raises alone won’t get you what you’re hoping for in a team.

I’m a firm believer in paying people a living wage…so I’m not suggesting you go cheap. Churches, in particular, are notorious for paying poorly. Pay poorly, and you’ll in all likelihood end up with less of a team than you hoped for.

So what do you do?

Pay your team in non-financial currencies. Want to give your team a raise money can’t buy? Pay them with respect, autonomy, gratitude, responsibility, a great culture and support.

By the way, this works wonderfully for volunteers too…because, by definition, you don’t pay them money. Cherish, support, respect and empower your volunteers and chances are they’ll enjoy working with you more than they enjoy their day job.


Too many employers are frustrated with (youngish) team members who want to work from home, from coffee shops, and have flex hours.

Large corporations are remodeling and getting rid of dedicated office space in favor of far more flexible options like hoteling, and remote work is becoming the new normal for most employees.

Still, far too many senior leaders struggle with it.

There’s a myth that still persists that team members who want to have flex hours or who want to do remote work are lazy.

They’re not lazy. They’re living in the 21st century. We have this thing called the Internet these days, and it’s not going away soon.

Gone are the days when you needed a central location that everyone reported to at a set hour to do set work. Sure, if you run a factory that produces widgets, you probably still run that kind of a business.

But if you work in a church or in an office, arguably, you don’t anymore. If you run reception, sure, you need set hours and a set location. Ditto if your job requires some form of manual labor or production.

But everyone else? Nope.

So what’s the bottom line?

Remote workers aren’t lazy. Lazy workers are lazy.

If you have a lazy team member, deal with it. If they don’t improve, release them.

But embrace remote work and remote workers. What you’ll discover is that productivity actually increases (often dramatically), costs go down and you begin to attract some of the best and brightest talent out there.

Will you need some set hours where everyone’s together? Of course. Many organizations have common days where everyone’s in the office but give freedom on other days.

So how do you evaluate people then if you can’t see them?

Well, first, being chained to a desk rarely improves anyone’s motivation or productivity.

And second, evaluate on them on results, not process. NOT producing is entirely different than how they’re producing.

If you focus on the outcome, not the process, you usually get a better outcome.


In the last few years in the United States, health care costs have been on an upward spiral, putting extra strain on both employees and employers.

It’s easy to think the only option is to pay more and get less. Well, not anymore.

Remodel Health (one of our blog and podcast partners) uses technology to develop a healthcare solution that is personalized and more affordable for employees and employers.

Their mission is to repurpose a billion dollars back into the ministry of churches and faith-based organizations by lowering premiums while raising the level of health benefits employees receive.

On average, Remodel Health saves clients 34 percent. Imagine repurposing 34 percent of your health care premiums back into your mission AND helping your employees find better coverage with lower annual exposure.

If you want to move into the future with healthcare, check out Remodel Health today.

Download their free buying guide and book a free consultation here.


What do you see changing in team leadership?

This article originally appeared here.