Teams That Thrive

Posted by: DVULI | September 27, 2022

Teams That Thrive by Julia Cameron

by Misael Guzman (Newark 2014) 

Written with church leaders in mind, Teams That Thrive is a beneficial resource for leaders at every level, including my wife and me. Authors Ryan T. Hartwig and Warren Bird provide key principles and disciplines that have served my busy family at home, work, and church.  

My family—our children included—exercises leadership in all aspects of our lives. For me, that is as a DVULI liaison, an IT professional, a father raising teens, a spouse, a son, a sibling, a friend, a volunteer, an associate pastor, and a school advocate. My cup is full!  

While I am cognizant of what is on my plate, God’s Word remains the first priority. In Teams That Thrive, the authors describe five disciplines that keep me anchored:  

  • Focus on the purpose. Opportunities can arise and deviate you from your purpose. Focus doesn’t allow for distraction to achieve that purpose. This discipline is what ties all the other disciplines together. 
  • Leverage differences in team members. My spouse or others around me can perhaps do better in areas where I am not as adept or skilled. 
  • Rely on inspiration more than control. Inspiration helps productivity while control stalls it. Learn to trust those around you and to be flexible. Not everything is written in stone. An effective leader often draws from love, guidance, and teaching. 
  • Intentionally structure your decision-making process. Write it down and plan it out. Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Structure helps us stay the course that we planned before we began to navigate it. 
  • Build a culture of continuous collaboration. This reminds us that we do not have to do it all. At home, mom and dad don’t have to do it all. We teach our children that collaboration is critical for sustainability. My wife’s go-to phrase is, “Many hands make the load lighter.” 

As a family of leaders, we consistently need to recalibrate by pausing, reflecting, and asking each other how we are doing. Leading comes with difficulties, and how we react will either derail us or help us stay the course. As leaders, we are bound to make mistakes and not have all the answers or make the best decision for our team. The best thing we can do is be prepared so that when the challenges come, with God’s help, we will manage to lead successfully in all aspects of our lives.  

I encourage you to read Teams That Thrive and practice these disciplines. See how they better serve you, your teams, and your family!