If you “talk the talk”, but don’t “walk the walk” yourself on teamwork, you are creating the wrong kind of teamwork. If you require teams to do everything, even when there is no need, you are creating the wrong kind of teamwork.
Berkley and INSEAD professor Morten T. Hansen’s, book Collaboration: How Leaders Avoid The Traps, Create Unity, and Reap Big Results, describes what he calls the three sins of teamwork.
Sin 1. Small Teamwork Kill Collaboration
Pastors who insist that certain ministries display teamwork, but then let other ministries or teams work as a group of “individuals”, kill collaboration.
People are going to ask themselves, “Why should I have to work as a team, when they don’t?”
When managers start instilling teamwork in their own units and not across the rest of the company, it leads to pockets of local teamwork, but not companywide collaboration. The company becomes ‘teamy’ but not collaborative.
If a pastor is going to preach teamwork, then it has to be for everybody. Requiring some to collaborate while letting others continue in a “privatized” or “hoarding” fashion is one sure way to quickly kill collaboration across the church.
Sin 2. Everybody Do Teamwork Now (Except Those of Us at the Top)
If you say teamwork is the way…then you better model it.
When leaders give a sermon about the value of teamwork to the troops, and then ignore it themselves, they are not promoting collaboration.
Hypocritical leadership is bad enough, but preaching teamwork and being a non team player is going to kill collaboration in your church.
To unite a company, the top team needs to be united, too.
Sin 3. Teamwork Becomes the Point of It All
Not everything at church needs a team to accomplish it. Sometimes, teamwork just winds up complicating the issue. Not every decision or task takes a team meeting to decide it or complete it.
Teamwork, when practiced incorrectly, becomes the sole purpose: ‘The leader says we need to do teamwork, so we better do teamwork, all the time.’ People’s judgment about when to work in teams—-and when not to—gets corrupted by a norm that says, ‘You should do teamwork.’ As a result, people work in teams when they shouldn’t, as when there is no compelling reason to team up…
People can often hide behind a team and not do what their individual responsibility requires of them. All collaboration all the time can be used as an excuse not to share or do your part, because they assume someone else will share.
Results matter. Sometimes the team is the best means to those results and sometimes it’s not. The goal of collaboration and teamwork is not collaboration and teamwork for the sake of teamwork or collaboration, but effective outcomes—-results. Pastor and ministry leaders who promote teamwork and collaboration must be careful to avoid these three “sins” of teamwork because the results…the work of the church and its leaders…matter too much.