How do youth workers build great teams where everyone is involved and shares leadership? Unfortunately, there is no checklist that guarantees results. Leadership is a chaotic and complex process of give and take, trial and error, and success and failure. It requires perseverance and flexibility.
Here are four principles for building teams with high involvement and shared leadership:
1. Leaders know that people want to be a part of something greater than oneself
Leaders engage people in the noble purpose of bringing about purposeful change. They cast a vision for a better world in which to live and work. Moreover, they help individuals see the specific roles they can play to bring about this vision.
2. Leaders focus on achieving the organization’s vision and mission
People know who they are as an organization, why they exist, what they hope to accomplish, and how they intend to achieve it. There is a strong sense of “we” and “us.”
3. Leaders build community
People want to belong. God created us for community. In Genesis 2:18 God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” When people are included they develop a greater sense of ownership and responsibility. Excluding others results in a greater sense of isolation and dissatisfaction. Communities are built on the three “C’s” of caring, communication, and collaboration. People care about each other, communicate effectively, and collaborate to fulfill a cause. Without question, the leader serves as the model. It’s true: “The speed of the leader is the speed of the team.”
4. Leaders encourage people to make decisions and contribute their ideas
People want more than “stooge work.” They want important tasks that challenge their potential. They respect leaders who listen to their opinions even when their viewpoints differ. People want leaders who assign responsibility, allocate resources, and recognize results. They also appreciate leaders who are proactive, supportive, and decisive.