Team building is one of the struggles of leadership. Either you are a team member or a team leader. What is important is that you ARE a TEAM BUILDER. There is a an African proverb that says, “If You want to go fast go alone; if you want to go far go together”. There is a lot of wisdom in this statement. .If you want to go far and want to make your life to be of maximum impact then you need to do it together. Let us define term Team first:
The term Team has been defined as ‘work done by several associates with each doing a part but all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole team.’
Under the leadership of Nehemiah (Ch: 3), the people who were rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem worked as a team to complete the work in record time. This is a chapter filled with complicated names. Each one the team was confident that someone was standing next to him and this gave them the dynamic push. There is an amazing power that comes from team work.
How to Build a Team through Our Work and Leadership?
1. Aim: The team should have an aim or a clear focus. The clarity of purpose by every member makes the team strong. In the book of Nehemiah we see in the midst of conflicts, fatigue, division and distraction Nehemiah gets the team back together and makes sure that their aim is to get back the wall built. The leader should make sure to highlight the aim. Ask often “Am I on aim”?
2. Attitude: A good attitude in the team members is another requirement. Continuously update our attitude towards other team members. Our attitude is contagious and other members will pick it up. A healthy Attitude in a project is very essential because it either weaves the fabric or breaks the spirit of the team. In Nehemiah we see the people started in all enthusiasm but in the process they began to nag, sag and lag. Nehemiah had to get them look at their attitudes. It is said, “light is the task where many share the toil because a good attitude is like an oil on the toil”. When people with good attitude get together the team becomes very productive.
3. Alignment: The wheels of an automobile need alignment. When they are out of alignment the energy and motion of the car are working against itself. So too with the team members: when they get out of alignment tension and pressure results. The vehicles get out of alignment due to continuous motion or due to potholes. When hitting against a pot hole jerks result and we can notice an alignment change. The group activities can cause alignment problems and conflicts. Deal with these problems in time lest it results in the loss of effectiveness.
4. Action: Teams that win are teams that perform. When every individual contributes to the team through the investment of their time and talents it actually raises the standard of their performance. Nehemiah not only gave the team aim and attitudes but he saw that his team moves in action.
5 Accountability means I depend on you and you can depend on me. Through accountability we become open to evaluation and feed back of the other team members. There is joint responsibility for the success and failure of a team. This brings about not only trust but also integrity.
6 Atonement: Every team member has his/her own weaknesses and limitations. Love covers a multitude of sins (1.Peter:4). One of the surest ways for a team to fail is to allow all the members of the team to feed on the weakness of one of its team members. Forgive, make up and start again.
7: Appreciation: It is expressing gratitude, approval, and thanksgiving for the contribution and the effort of the team working together. Every person in the team needs to feel that s/he is valuable. In the team everyone should learn to say thank you, well done, great work and this is what builds up the team. We tend to take other members of the team, their commitment and hard work for granted and this may bring about discouragement and frustration. Instead let us appreciate and build up.
Living the above values, the team is going to advance, accelerate and achieve its aim.