Dr. Rick Sessoms
Leading Teams with Care
Five Essential Factors Roles
[00:00:01] Well, let's press on then and talk about roles, and I'll just introduce this and then we'll take a break. Team roles. And when we talk about team rolls, every member understands his or her role. And the next statement is very important and the roles of all other members. In the larger plan of how the team designs and executes its work. When we talk about roles, then it's about understanding yourself and what your contribution on the team is. It also suggests that good teams. Understand one another thoroughly. The roles of everyone on the team. When I played a little bit of basketball in college, in a small college, I wasn't much good. I worked hard at it, but was not Well, I was. The truth is, I was too small to be a forward and too slow to be a guard. And so you ended up playing where, you know, just like they called me the trash man, I would pick up, you know, loose balls and dive on the floor and all that good stuff. But that that was my role. But anyway, what I did learn a lot of my lessons about teamwork are through the game of basketball. And what I learned on the court is that is that it's not just important to understand what my role is, but it's critically important to understand what everyone on the team's role is. Without that, we can get very confused. And so that's a very, very critical component of good teamwork. Unfortunately, in so many context, we often feel like these poor guys sweat it out working as hard as we can. We kind of understand ourselves, but we aren't even aware of the guy behind us pedaling just as hard in the opposite direction.
[00:02:24] And we wonder why we're not getting anywhere. Have you ever experienced anything like that on a team? I think we all have at times. So this is this is a very real sort of thing. Although the team may want to move forward and have every intention of moving forward, I can guarantee you those guys, by the way, one of them looks kind of like George Bush. I don't know why that is, but the George Bush senior. But what we spend so much of an hour of our creative energy working out solutions to problems that are that problems that are internal to the team itself. And that is is something oftentimes I as I've worked with churches, we talk about the lost and we talk about the people that we need to reach outside the church. But we spend most of our energy on the internal dynamics of the team before we can ever move to doing what it is that we we are called to do together. And so I like us to just talk for a few moments. What what are the reasons for tensions on teams? What what are some of the most likely causes for conflict on the teams that you've worked on in the past? And I'd like to just kind of jot some of those down. What would those be? Different goals. Different goals. All right, What else? The presumption that someone's not doing. They're pulling their weight. Okay? Pulling their defined. This may be related to different goals, but lack of a common understanding of why you were called to the team. You have different perspectives of what? Supposed to be doing. I guess that's the second. And in my observation, big ones often times are always.
[00:05:02] I just put relational stress the right. Lack of communication or unclear communications. Well, a lack of structure or also related to that, a lack of understanding of each other's roles. Lack of leadership, which. And the individual good supersedes region and country. Like of great. For regions like Greece. When he becomes more important in the process of getting there. So winning is more important than relationship. So when you use the word winning, not every team is about winning, per se. So what do you mean about winning? I think we're winning where the goal supersedes. Okay, so you say the goal is more important than the relationships. Maybe you just like your idea. Me? So you want to win. Okay, so individual agenda. I think there's a flip side also. I think Jim was saying, too, when the relationships are more important than the goal. So you want to make everyone feel so good that you never accomplish anything so or vice versa. Yeah. Other thoughts. When you get have their. The relational issues. Does that also incorporate personality? Well, that's exactly what I was going to ask. I was surprised. The personality differences is not on the list. Is that what you thinking? To be part of it. And that's one of the root cause. Relational, relational stress is more the symptom. One of the hold, which is an acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired when the environment starts to beat the groove down. It all finishes in the conference room. Was hungry, angry, lonely. And tiger. Yeah, I was a little bit of thinking as a personality. Differences can be a strength, but personality clashes. The only reason I wrote down personality differences, because oftentimes you hear people say, well, we just have a difference in personality kind of thing.
[00:09:38] And it may it's obvious that it's more than that, but it's that's kind of a presenting problem at times. Okay to to a like. Uh. We won't go there. Are you thinking of anybody in particular in the room or is it just. Huh? So these are all tensions for sure. What one of the one of the things that comes up so often is I just don't know what my team members are supposed to do and I don't know what I'm supposed to do or we're just not getting it done. And it's one of those things that really causes teams to we, we kind of know the big picture, but what am I supposed to do and how are we supposed to get this accomplished together? So when we talk about roles, there are two aspects of roles that we want to want to look at. The one is what we could refer to as about function team function. Another word for this is just simply job description. What is your what is your role description on the team? This this week. Last week, a very good church in Raleigh, Durham area here disbanded because the two pastors, they were capacitors. They're both great guys, but they failed to clearly distinguish their functions. And so over a period of about 18 months, they the whole thing just frankly, fell apart because as well-intentioned as they were, they kind of understood the goal. They understood the purpose, but they did not understand their respective functions, their job description, as if they were their ministry descriptions within that context. And so it's quite important in a in a in a in a in a team to be clear about what who has what function.
[00:12:12] And to be crystal clear about that. And again, not only to understand what your function is, but to understand clearly what everyone's function is very, very important distinction. So as you think about this, what is your team function? Are you clear on that? The team, that team that you're on right now. Are you crystal clear on what your team function is? Yes. No. Oh, Harry. Responses. I think it changes, and that's fine. But are you clear now on what the what your team role is? Yes. By your you mean yes or no? Meaning the individual. The individual? Yeah. Of the teams that I ranked last week, The higher the ranking, the more clear my understanding was. Okay. One thing's for sure. Which. Which is this. This lack of motivation. Okay. To be the leader again? Well, I mean, they want to be compensated for your work, whether it's. So, you know, you get right out of doing whatever works for you and you feel good when you volunteer and. You know, we were fixing something when we came up with it. So there's something this less compelling about the situation. Is the issue, right? So again are are you clear on what your. Description is what your role is currently on the team. You're on. That is. Are you clear? So then the second question, are you clear on the function of every other team member? Yes. No. No. That's where it kind stuff in. So because I'm talking to leaders here and because this is about leading teams, I want to suggest to you that this is a very important step to guide your team and to understanding not just what their roles are, but to understand what everyone else's role is as well.
[00:15:19] Very important step. Yes. Now, it's an interesting comment that often and I think this is the case in a lot of teams, the higher your position, the more clear you are on your role. And I think that also plays into how clear you are on the roles of the team members. Hopefully, if the leader does not have a clear picture of the functions of the other team members, how can those other team members have a very difficult period that you imagine that there can be conflict when a person will say, I'm not really sure what my role is, but I know what everyone else should be doing. And I think you can be clear on what your role is, but not be affirmed in that. In other words, you could have accepted a role that you felt was dismissed and or denigrated. And so this person up here on higher duties got very elevated, in my opinion, elevated role. And mine is just kind of a street sweeper and I don't feel it is not appreciated. Well, we're going to get into that because that's a that's an important point. My mind just keeps drifting. Back to your example of the Trinity and the fact that. Would you would you say that they understood their own roles within the Trinity and did they understand each other's roles within the Trinity? It's a beautiful picture. That's what created that capacity to be that kind of a team, if you will, to use that language. So these are these seem like probably simple steps when we've talked about the clear, common and compelling purpose and now the roles about the function, knowing your own and knowing everyone else's. But I just want to suggest to you, these kinds of things are what tend to trip up teams.
[00:17:22] They're what caused them to go sideways, at least the ones that I have consistently worked with over the years.