A couple weeks ago, ten worship interns from Arise Worship returned to their homes—multiple states, three countries. During the eight weeks they were at Cape Christian, I had the opportunity to attempt to inspire these young millennial leaders toward transformissional living. I shared ten things I’ve learned about leadership. You can see the list in a recent blog post. I’ve been asked by many of my readers to say more about each of these learnings gleaned from four decades of leadership. Here’s the second of the ten: Leaders Build Teams.

Leadershp2Great leaders build teams that build great organizations. It’s a very rare occurrence to see an individual single-handedly build a healthy organization. When you peak under the hood of a great running business or a non-profit, you’ll usually see some high-octane, well-oiled teams at work. In fact, if you see a business that isn’t growing and succeeding, it is frequently due to a leader who has not gathered and established teams around her or him. I truly believe, a leader is at their very best and doing some of their most important work when they are raising up other great leaders through building teams.

Here’s a 3D approach I’ve used to build teams:

DISCOVER—Train yourself to look for other leaders. My high school principal shoulder-tapped me and asked if I had ever considered becoming a pastor. I hadn’t. But I did. And I am. Over 37 years now of fruitful ministry. Principal Glen Roth had trained himself to look for leaders.

When you are looking for team members, seek out people different than yourself. Creating a team means bringing together people with different skillsets and varied personalities to work towards a common mission. It’s important to understand what each individual team member’s strengths are and put each person in a place to shine. The whole team will get better. A rising tide raises the level of all the boats in the harbor.

And, I’ve always tried to train other leaders on the team to keep their radar on so they can spot potential leaders and team members. They rub shoulders with people you don’t know. The best leaders are always team players. At every level in an organization—building a team—should be of high importance.

DEVELOP—Leaders grow leaders. It takes intentionality. Leaders collaborate and help others become winners. Whether its formal or informal, pouring yourself into less experienced leaders is necessary to build a strong healthy team. It might be easier to do it yourself than to show someone else how to do it. You might even be able to do it better than anyone else on the team. But keeping leadership only for yourself, will ultimately hinder the growth of your organization.

Bill Hybels, states it powerfully in his book, Courageous Leadership, “When a leader develops not only his or her own leadership potential, but draws out the leadership potential of scores of other leaders as well, the kingdom impact from one life is multiplied exponentially. It produces far more fruit than any single leadership achievement could have. The impact of that leader’s life will be felt for many generations to come.”

DEPLOY—Allow others under your leadership to actually lead. Offer real-life opportunities. Not micromanaging, but coaching them. Give clear boundaries. Invite their input. Provide them with appropriate authority. Let them know you have their back. Assure them it’s okay to fail. You are there to support them. You are there to make sure they get some wins under their belt. You are there to help build their confidence. You are there to inspire and equip them to be effective leaders.

The bottom line is, an organization, a church, or a business can only grow as much as you have growing leaders who are growing other leaders. As long as you are growing leaders, you can keep growing your organization, your business or your ministry. You can’t do it alone. If you really want to be the most successful leader possible, you must discover, develop and deploy other leaders around you.


QUESTION: What would you add to this topic based on your leadership experience? I’d love to know. Use the comment section below.



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