June 24, 2013 by eric echols
Last week, I wrote about the two enemies of commitment: Consensus and Certainty. If you’re waiting to have 100% consensus on your team and certainty your ideas will work, then you better pack a lunch because you’re going to be waiting for a very long time.
This week, I want to talk about how to have your team committed. No, I’m not talking about shipping them off to your local psychiatric hospital for treatment. However, if your team lacks commitment you will more than likely be checking yourself in before it’s all said and done.
My experience and background is in leading within the local church, but I believe this truth is universal: If your team is not committed to each other and the purpose God has given you then your mission will never be completed. So, that begs the question: How do you build commitment on your team? The building blocks of commitment are clarity and buy-in.
Clarity is the “why behind the what”. People will not commit to the what and the how until they understand the why. We have to cast a compelling vision before we ask people to commit to it.
Ambiguity is the lack of clarity that results in a lack of decisiveness and lack of commitment. You cannot be vague when it comes to setting the direction of your church and determining the decisions made by your team. It is impossible to commit to ambivalence. If you want clarity, you have to avoid ambiguity.
You also have to stop assuming your team can read your mind. We all know what happens when you assume (if not then look it up on Urban Dictionary). People will never live up to unclear expectations. Its like throwing darts at a moving bullseye.
Clearly define why the vision must be accomplished can watch people enthusiastically commit to it.
Even if you’re clear and your team understands the “why behind the what”, the vision will not go far without buy-in. Unfortunately, buy-in is not a one time event. It is an ongoing process that has to be nurtured and developed over time. Creating buy-in is not easy but it is essential to having a committed team.
Buy-in is when everyone on the team surrenders their agenda to the greater good of the church or organizations’ success. It has to be preached often from the top/down and more importantly it has to be modeled daily from the top/down. This kind of buy-in is a non-negotiable!
In order to create this type of buy-in; a leader must allow the team to be a part of the process of creating what they are buying in to. People don’t want to simply be handed down a list of expectations…they want to be a part of formulating them. Allowing your team the opportunity to discuss the ideas/vision/decisions and allowing them time to think them over are keys to creating a culture of buy-in with your team.
Churches that cave under the pressure of opposition are not clear on why they’re doing what they’re doing & the team is not bought into the vision. Effective teams are committed teams. They are clear on where they are going and bought into the vision of the church/organization.