I have a constant frustration in life – I cannot have it all. I’m not talking about the desire to have lots of possessions or anything like that. There are so many things I want to be true in life, and sometimes it can feel a little bit like a big game of whack a mole. I divert my time, energy and attention to one thing that seems most important – and then before I know it I feel the pull to redirect because there is a new thing that I should tend to.
This is especially true when you lead a team of people. I’m not suggesting that your team members are like the moles in a whack a mole game. (Smile) The tension in leading a team is that you almost always want it all, but you cannot have it all. This tension will never go away:
- You want to have a consistent team where people don’t change, but you also want to develop them for greatness which means they will eventually move on and you will have to replace them
- You want a quality experience which means working with a small/well trained group of people – but you also want to consistently onboard new people onto your team.
- You want to enjoy the people on your team and spend time focused on them – but you also want to turn outward and focus on the vision and mission.
If you are a driven leader, you likely echo a desire to run fast all the time. Your battle cry is, “let’s go accomplish something awesome!” For more relational leaders you might echo a battle cry that is a little more like, “lets create an awesome experience for the team!”
To build a healthy team over the long haul you need both of those battle cries. You cannot have it all – but you can focus on the most important thing for the moment. For instance, on Sunday mornings our teams gather together and turn our complete focus outward on the people we are here to serve. However during the week our best attention is given towards relational connection and development within the team.
This same back and forth tension exists over seasons. There are seasons when the most important thing you can do is slow down to the speed of relationships and focus on development. There are other seasons when what your team really needs is to rally around the vision of a better future and better world and they need to focus on it with great intentionality.
So what do you want in this season for your team? You cannot have everything – but you can win SOMETHING really well.
- Is now the time to slow things down to the speed of relationships and intentionally invest in the members of the team?
- Is now the time to ramp up to the speed of production and make things happen and chase after the vision?