A Review of Andy Stanley’s Podcast on High Performance Teams

Andy+Stanley+stanleyjpgI listened to Andy Stanley’s three part pod cast on high performance teams.  Here are some highlights:

A high performance team has extraordinary clarity around the what, why and how, and a strong disposition for execution.

Clarifying The “What” –  What are we trying to accomplish?  What is our goal?  What is the win? What have we come to do?  Clarity around the “what” creates efficiency in decision making.  And it keeps people moving forward toward the goal.

The “Why” –  Answers the question, What’s at stake?  What will happen if we don’t do this?

The “How” – Deals with the orchestration, documentation and evaluation.  You want the team to know “how we do things around here.”

A majority of the podcast was spent the “how”.  It sometimes can be counter-intuitive for leaders, but having a well laid out plan of how the team is to operate actually comes across more personal.  An example of this is the typical hospital emergency room.  The ER has a documented way of doing things.  To the staff, they are just doing their jobs they way they are supposed to.  But, to the parent who just had a sick child cared for, it’s very personal.

Orchestration (planning, procedure) and documentation, if not updated, can lead to stale, outdated methods.  And that’s the reason that evaluation is so important.  A high performance team is constantly evaluating how their orchestration is working and they are nimble enough to fix it.

I also like the the phrase a “strong disposition for execution.” A high performing team needs to get something done.  In fact, one great question to ask potential team members is “what have you done?”  After you ask that question, just sit quietly and let them answer.

One further implication for leaders: The larger the organization grows, the more the leader becomes removed from the day to day orchestration.   Leaders need to stay on top of the critical missions of their organization.  For the church, the critical mission is inviting, attracting, assimilating, equipping and transforming lives. Those moments happen in groups, in worship times, in presentations, in personal encounters, through publications and a million other ways.  It’s not easy, but the leader must make sure those pieces critical to the mission are happening and happening well.

This was a great podcast for any team, but I can definitely see the benefit for church staff to grasp these concepts.  Is your staff a high performance team?  Do you what you are trying to accomplish?  Why you are trying to accomplish it? And just as importantly, how you are accomplishing?

The what, the why, the how.

Thanks Andy for simplifying things.  I thought it was great.

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