I love camp and I love the concept of team. As a camp leader, I am called at times to create culture. My second summer as a camp director, I came in determined to lead more effectively. I wanted to create a culture of TEAM, and with lots of new camp staffers, I knew it would take work to achieve this goal.
Little did I know that HOT PINK t-shirts were the answer! I sent them to all my teammates and all but one team member showed up at the Nashville airport proudly displaying their hot pink shirt for the first day of camp. As for that one… well, he tried to hide it under his button-down, but soon he’d begin to wear it proudly too.
We sat down in our first team meeting together, and I challenged them to embrace the color fuchsia. Our theme became “Fuchsia: It’s not a color, it’s a state of mind.” Armed with that motto, matching t-shirts, and later with a team mascot (an oversized, annoying, fuchsia bouncy ball), we became known as the crazy folks, the weirdo’s, that team that everyone secretly wished they could join. Who knew that hot pink shirts and a giant bouncy ball would create culture? But they did! Well, not really, but these silly unifyers did open ears and provide some buy-in. They created a platform to cast a clear vision, to inspire the team and spur them on to do great things, to shape the culture of a CentriKid staff.
What resulted from the clear vision and encouraging inspiration? We functioned as a team, people felt a sense of ownership and unity, and I firmly believe we were more effective in ministry!
Here we are proudly sporting our pink shirts, 8 weeks later.
What kind of culture are you creating with your team? Are you willing to think outside-the-box in creating that culture? As you lead and influence people, remember:
- If you aren’t shaping culture, then culture will shape you and your team.
- Influence is a great and dangerous thing. You must create culture for the right reasons.
- Develop leaders who continue and create culture long after we are gone.