Your Team Is Headed For A Catastrophe Without These Twenty Things

A healthy team is a unified team. A healthy team, although highly desired is not naturally produced. Healthy teams are formed not inherently conceived.

You might be on a team with small group leaders. It might be a church leadership team. It might be a team within a department in your organization. If you want to achieve greatness within your team and with your team, there are certain signs that need to be evident. Without these twenty things, your team is headed for a catastrophe:


  1. Team members filter all decisions and interactions with one another through a distinctly gospel-centered lens.
  2. Each team member has a strong desire to achieve unilateral unity despite differences in methodology or secondary matters.
  3. Confession and repentance to one another exists and actively practiced.
  4. Team members speak to one another about an issue rather then speaking about the issue with people who are not concerned by it.
  5. Team members are in active agreement about the mission of their existence.
  6. Team members aggresively curb their own personal ambitions and agendas for the sake of the gospel.
  7. Team members are active listeners of one another despite grand-canyon sized differences in approach to doing work.
  8. Team members have relational not mechanical friendships.
  9. Team members find time to see and spend time with one another outside of a meeting/task oriented context.
  10. Team members actually enjoy the presence of one another.
  11. Team members embrace punctuality and respect the time constraits of one another.
  12. Team members realize the strengths of each other member on the team.
  13. Team members understand role clarity and allow those who are gifted to lead that which they are gifted to lead.
  14. Team members approach everything through the filter of Scripture and not the filter of tradition.
  15. Team members do not accept rebukes or coaching personally but rather in humility accept the correction
  16. Team members are honest about their alignment with the team leader.
  17. Team members are authentic about their intent and upon departure, do so with grace and peace.
  18. Team members are open to new ideas and listen to suggestions without a negative bias.
  19. Team members do not look at one another as opposition.
  20. Team members do not hold to tribal dichotomy but realize that they are all on the same team, with one mission, serving Jesus for His fame, not their own.

Question: What else would you add to this list? What other things must be absolutely present for a team to do the work it has been called to accomplish? 




11 responses to “Your Team Is Headed For A Catastrophe Without These Twenty Things”

  1. 1. Word “respect” is totally missing (except for the “time constrains”, but this is irrelevant).
    2. Word “love” is totally missing.
    3. Word “freedom” is totally missing.
    I think, you have to address these: each person in a team is just that: a person, not a part of some production line, or a piece in a structure. I can see how the “team”, and “the goal” benefits from these 20 items, but it’s blur to me how do I benefit from that? No respect? No love? No freedom? Count me out: this is not a team, this is a production line 🙂

    1. V — hi — One of my seminary proff’s always said the following to us: “Chew the meat and spit out the bones.” Every single item you mentioned is included in the list — maybe not worded in the way that you would like 🙂

    2. The opening line “Team members filter all decisions and interactions with one another through a distinctly gospel-centered lens” encapsulates every single item you mention that the list lacks — but of course — this list is full of flaws, written by a fallen human being saved by grace — and it probably has more things that need to be added to it than what you even mention — good thoughts though — thank you for the sharpening 🙂

      1. That’s the issue: my whole life experience screams to me that if something is not explicitly mentioned in the agenda it will always fall off the table, even though it was implicitly there. If you started to lay out team building principles, don’t leave most fundamental principles out, always mention them explicitly, and then see how other things correlate with them.
        On my (strong) opinion, good teams are not built on shared goals, visions, agendas, methods, etc. The only shared thing that makes a team good is a shared passion (another missing word 😉 everything else should be (and to some extent) must be different. That’s where the team’s synergy comes from: shared passion, and _differences_ in team members. Good teams are built not because its members have something in common, but _despite_ the differences that team members have, because the differences is the second (to passion) essential element of the synergy.
        Sorry, I hate to be always “devil’s advocate” with you, but we have a lot of differences 😉

        1. LOL — good thoughts — I love discussion, you know that — and it is good to interact with those that think differently but inevitably come to a unified conclusion — or at least attempt too — we can disagree agreeably and some differences need not be divisive — so I am all for interaction and discussion — and I agree with your preliminary thoughts on this comment — I will have to think about and approach this topic next time with a more explicit focus —

  2. Vladimir, common passion is NOT enough to make team members efficient and productive. Face the reality – one may be passionate today and completely careless tomorrow (not in the mood).
    Moreover, in the absence of common goals and agenda, the team is prone to a quick collapse. Remember басня Крылова “Лебедь, рак и щука”? У этих троих были разные методы, которые не привели ни к какому результату.

    Когда в товарищах согласья нет,
    На лад их дело не пойдет,
    И выйдет из него не дело, только мука.

    Однажды Лебедь, Рак, да Щука
    Везти с поклажей воз взялись,
    И вместе трое все в него впряглись;
    Из кожи лезут вон, а возу все нет ходу!
    Поклажа бы для них казалась и легка:
    Да Лебедь рвется в облака,
    Рак пятится назад, а Щука тянет в воду.
    Кто виноват из них, кто прав,- судить не нам;
    Да только воз и ныне там.

    И.А.Крылов. Сочинения в двух томах.
    Москва, “Гос. изд-во художественной
    литературы”, 1955.

    1. Maiya, I’ve never said that shared passion is all that is needed to have a successful team. However, it’s absolutely necessary that people share passion for what the team is supposed to do in order to be successful. And that word was missing in the initial Bogan’s list. That’s all 🙂 Another dimension to that is that the production line is the most effective way to reach a complex goal. But would you call it a team?

      1. Volodya: “it’s absolutely necessary that people share passion for what the team is supposed to do in order to be successful.” I agree, good point. Provided that this passion is maintained, sustained and empowered by the Holy Spirit & approved by God. The production line piece was probably the absolute farthest thing on my mind when I wrote this — in fact — it was not even in existence anywhere in the horizon of my thoughts — nor do I think a production line mentality leaks out of the list — where each point is saturated in gospel truths — at least the way I read it —

        1. Bogdan, trust me on that: production line simply jumps out of your list. The fact that the production line is built for the cause of “producing saved souls for the glory of God”, and “is built accordingly to God’s principles” doesn’t dismiss the fact that it is a production line 😉
          I’m not criticizing you in a negative sense, I’m just providing you with an honest (and, I hope, constructive) feedback that you have requested.

          1. Volodya thank you — your feedback is appreciated, although not necessarily agreed with 🙂

    2. Mariya — my russian was sure put to the test reading that poem — I think I remember it though. Good analogy. I also agree with you that passion, very much like feelings, is fleeting.

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