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My Team Sucks Now What? (Infuse Leadership Podcast)

infuse1Episode 3 of the new Infuse Leadership Podcast is now available on iTunes and on our website.  The title of this episode is “My team sucks, now what?”  We’re talking staff and team culture.  What do I do if my team culture isn’t healthy?  How do I protect team culture?  How can I turn an unhealthy culture around?  To get some fresh insight we interviewed two of our newest staff members who are in our leadership residency program, Ryan Does and Brielle Lang.

Apple iTunes link HERE.

Online link HERE.


Element Church hasn’t always had a healthy staff culture or team dynamics in our history but we currently find ourselves in a very healthy season and wanted to talk about some of the things that helped us get to where we are today.  Both Ryan and Brielle offered some great insight as the newbies on our team as to some things they’ve seen that have helped create some health on our team.  Here are a couple things that stood out to me that Ryan and Brielle shared.

1.  Freedom to fail —  Ryan talked about the first time he felt part of the team was when he was given the freedom to fail.  If there is no freedom to fail on a team then there is also no grace to grow.  Obviously, you don’t want someone to fail every time they do something, that would be a cause for a further conversation, but if we don’t allow some freedom for team mates to fail then how do we ever expect to grow in our leadership?  So many times we say “failure is not an option” but I’ve heard multiple leaders talk about how “failure is a necessity”.  Failing leads to future growth if we learn from our mistakes.

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2.  Genuine friendship —  Brielle talked about the genuine care that our teammates have for one another.  Here at Element, our staff doesn’t hang out all the time together, but when we are together we truly “hang out.”  We have a blast together.  I’ve never laughed more or harder in my life than when I’m with our staff.

3.  Celebrate successes — Celebration is often super hard for driven leaders.  I learned the hard way that if we don’t celebrate the successes we’ll eventually have no successes to celebrate.

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4.  Push each other toward excellence — I love something that Ryan shared about our team.  He mentioned how we push each other to be better leaders, communicators, pastors, etc., but he also said we push him to be a better husband and father.  I tell our team all the time, I’m WAY more concerned with YOU than I am what you can do for our church.  If we succeed at our job but don’t succeed as a follower of Jesus then we have failed.

5.  We not me — Brielle shared some great insight into becoming part of a team.  When someone moves to “You” and “me” to “we” language they have become part of the team.  I have actually, somewhat jokingly, threatened to fire a staff member who continued to use the “you guys” language while on staff.  It’s no surprise that this person eventually chose to leave our team, they struggled the entire time to see our team as “we” and not “you” or “me”.

6.  Protect team culture — We have to be willing to say “no” to talented people who may not fit on our team culture.  The most talented person can actually be more damaging to a team than anything else if they don’t fit with the culture of the team.  A lot of times in leadership we are so desperate for talent that we compromise culture to get it.

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