High Performance Teams

John Wooden, the greatest basketball coach of all time, was known for bringing out the best in his players.  He didn’t waste time over-analyzing the competition.  He simply got to know his players and helped them sharpen their skills through rigorous practice and inspired them to play to their potential.

There’s a Biblical basis for building and leading high performance teams.  (Romans 12: 3-8)

The human body is the ultimate high performance team, with every part functioning properly in relationship to all other parts.  When one part breaks down, all other parts are affected.  When every single part is functioning according to design, the body is an amazing product of collaboration.  Several “Team” principles can be gleaned from this passage:

  1. Focus on your area of strength.  Know what part you are to play in the organization and work diligently to ensure that your part is being done to the best of your ability.  Remember, all others are depending on you to function at your peak level.  Weakness or malfunction with your part weakens the entire team.  Others are dependent on you, as you are for them.

  2. Guard yourself against pride and feelings of superiority.  When you do your part really well, others tend to take notice and affirm your efforts.  That’s a good thing, as long as you receive it as encouragement to keep doing your best for the team to perform at its peak level.  The problem comes when you start thinking that you are more important than other parts on the team.  Refuse, as it says in verse 3, to “think more highly of yourself than you ought to think.”  Do your best, but stay grounded in the grace of God.  Without Him, you are nothing.

  3. Don’t try to play multiple parts at the same time.  That’s like the foot trying to be the tongue.  It’s either one or the other.  Admittedly, there are times when we temporarily have to play multiple roles and wear different hats.  But that has to be a temporary situation, and even then, your primary part is not performing at its best and the team is not function at peak level.

  4. Show appreciation for other parts of the team.  This point needs an Impact Insight of its own (Part 2), but verses 9-21 clearly tell us how to relate to others on a team.  Love without hypocrisy, be devoted to one another, honor one another, etc.

The best thing you can do for your team is to do your part the best you can by the grace of God in your life.  The second best thing you can do for your team is to affirm and encourage others as they seek to do their best.

Choose at least one person on your team today and affirm or encourage them for the role they play.

Jeff Wilson

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