5 Keys to Building a Kick-Butt Team in a Selfish World

"People aren't against you. They are just for themselves."

Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos.net
I've read this saying on leadership and life hack pages a number of times.

I don't know who first said it, or I'd credit them. (And yes, I've Googled it.)

I believe this statement is true in many cases where people wrongly diagnose themselves as "under attack." Many times leaders aren't under attack -- they're just surrounded by apathetic or selfish people. There is a difference. I wouldn't really call that spiritual warfare, it's just a sucky situation. 

When you're leading a team, it's important to find people who are in love with something besides themselves. Look for people with the least selfies on their Instagram.

Granted, it isn't always easy to find people who are selfless, sacrificial leaders. Discovering leaders or up-and-coming leaders who are determined to do what is best for the team, the company, the organization, the church, the ministry - even when it requires sacrificial decisions and effort - is challenging, yet not impossible.

It's important to:

1) Refuse to lose hope 

They are out there!  My assistant Erika can attest to the fact that we constantly get proposals in our office from people who are only about themselves. We get them so much it's laughable. We laugh so we don't do something much less spiritual. However, we're accumulating quite a file among the narcissistic rubble. We've found truly sacrificial gems driven by a greater cause than themselves.

2) Don't allow bad experiences in the past to taint your future. Just because somebody in your past was only looking out for themselves doesn't mean everybody you meet in the future will do the same thing. If you don't take a risk to trust new people, you'll never achieve the greatness God has in store for you. Why? Because the greatest things are accomplished through teams. Even Jesus, who could have done it all by himself, didn't.  None of us will reach the crazy awesome goals God gives us if we refuse to extend trust in building a team based upon whatever broke down in the past.

3) Partner up when you find them.  Once the gems are with you, actually give them opportunities. This means giving real ownership, real power.

4) Liberally apply appreciation. Give credit. Develop a culture of honor. Thank people often. It goes a really long way!

5) Rinse and repeat all the above. Don't stop doing what you did in the first place, to reach the first milestones you reached as a team.

Just want to give a shout out to my team! The PF Women's team. An amazingly sacrificial team. There are seven of them missing from this photo who were working in other areas of the building when this photo was taken...kinda what unselfish sacrificial gems do. :)