In any setting—whether it is in sports, corporations, or even the camp world—a unified team is hard to find. The chances that a group of 20 or so different individuals are automatically going to be unified are very slim. So, what does that mean for us, as leaders? If the chances are so slim for natural team unity, then how do we even begin to try to create it among our team?
There are several factors that play into creating a unified team, but one thing has stuck out to me as I’ve observed great leaders throughout the years. The ability to influence each individual on the team to strive toward one common purpose is vital to forming a unified team.
Think about it. All of the greatest sports teams that we love to watch are the teams that are willing to do whatever it takes to win the championship. Yes, talented players are important, but the best teams arise when the players buy into the coach’s system, stop worrying about the recognition they can get individually and, instead, start focusing on how they can help the team advance.
Last summer, as I was leading a team of staffers, I realized that we should all be working toward a common goal as well. Our purpose at camp isn’t to have the best production, the coolest track times, or the messiest OMC. Our purpose is to share the Gospel with campers and lead them to the realization of their desperate need for a relationship with Jesus Christ. When we all strive to show God’s love to the campers and to each other, all the tiny details that often slow us down and tear us apart, fade away and the only thing that remains is our ultimate purpose of glorifying God. Sure, there are still differences and even arguments among the team members, but when everyone is focused on one goal, people are willing to look beyond their own desires and “…put on love – the perfect bond of unity.” (Colossians 3:14)