I haven’t always been a big fan of teams. My perception of teams was what is commonly known as the 80/20 rule—20% of the people are doing 80% of the work. I generally equated “team” with “committee” and saw both as sterile ground for finding solutions and fertile forums for discord. It was not until I arrived at UBA in 1990 that I encountered a learning culture that differentiated between a group of people on task and a truly high performance team.
Over the years, I have often heard the phrase, “It’s quicker if I just do it myself.” But is that really true when it comes to leadership? The problem with this approach is that it does not take the long view. It saves time only in the short term. You accomplished in a few seconds or a minute or two what it might have taken you half an hour or more to train someone else to do, but you have trapped yourself. Can we use those extra minutes to invest a bigger opportunity?
In an age where we're easily divided into camps, churches must fight to remember our common purpose. We must make an effort to be counter-cultural, not only in what we believe but also in the way we live it out. At UBA, we're proud to have several examples of churches doing innovative collaboration, pooling resources, and working together to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here are just a few of those stories:
Leadership is a learned skill. Much of the learning takes place experientially, but books can also provide valuable learning. Since reading Steven B. Sample's The Contrarian's Guide to Leadership, "Work for Those Who Work For You" (Chapter 8) has become a guiding leadership principle for me. More than 20 years after first encountering Sample’s work, I still have 2 green sticky notes marking pages in that chapter. On one, I wrote ”service” and on the other “access.” They are reminders that help me even today.