I might be a sucker for punishment. You see I love my job, but there are certain weekends that rise to the top for me. Generally those are days that are packed with activity; full of moments where our team looks at each other and we think, “can we do this?” My response? Bring. It. On.
I love weekends at the church where it feels like we might be pushing our teams (and ourselves) to the limit. Now the truth is I am not a sucker for punishment. I love the packed weekends because of the challenge it brings to our team – the pressure invites our teams to rise up.
Why am I so confident in our team and their ability to accomplish just about anything? The answer is found in one word – flexibility. A flexible team is able to accomplish more than you could ever imagine. (Click to tweet) Flexibility opens up a lot of doors for you. That is true for the team you lead…the family you belong to…even your own body.
I remember during a health assessment about a year ago they had me do a stretch test to gauge my flexibility. I gave it my all…and then the guy told me I could start to stretch as soon as I was ready…
My flexibility was so low I could not even reach the start of the ruler where they measured flexibility. #Awkward
Increasing your personal flexibility might be a big uphill battle. Increasing the flexibility of your team doesn’t have to be. Here are 3 ways to keep your team flexible:
- Leave Margin – the flexibility to stretch and do something new requires extra capacity. You have to have space in order to adjust. Have more than just the minimum number of people “on” at any given time. Don’t give into the compulsion to fill any extra time/space with more stuff to do. Down time and extra capacity are essential elements when keeping your team flexible.
- Cross-train – On a basketball team the Center still needs to be good at passing. Point guards have to know how to grab a rebound. People on your team need to know their role and be good at it, but they also need to have some level of training on how to stretch and do things outside of their role. Cross training prepares people for the unknown around the next curve. (Click to tweet) Help the people on your team to be specialized in one role yet capable of many roles.
- Believe in People for More – Stretching requires you to figure out how far you can reach – to believe you can go farther than you normally do. You have to believe that the people on your team still have room to stretch and grow. Keeping your team flexible will require you to risk belief in people. People need room to rise, so raise the ceiling of your expectations and watch your team rise to the occasion. (Click to tweet)