So the word for the last three months is Team. I haven't been on a team that worked together every day for the last 30 years and it is amazing to be on one again. The last time was during my years in the army. There, we trained for life and death matters. Now, I'm very much involved with life and death. And my daily work is dependent on Team.
Here are some things that are becoming more true to me.
1. My job is to make my manager look good.
That sounds unusual at first, I know. I mean, it is never mentioned in my job description. A lot of other things are, but not that. But think about it for a while. You know your job is not to make your manager look bad. So why not go the other way with it, make them look good. They hired you, why not do your job so well that it makes them look like they made the right call, the only call when you were hired. Think about this one some more. I think it will pay off in so many ways. They lead your Team. And if they lead it well, you will lead well. Make them look good and so will you.
2. When the Team wins, I win.
When someone on the team gets credit for a job well done, you get credit too. A true team functions because of each other, not separate from each other. If an individual did something extraordinary and received accolades for it, then you as a team member had a part to play in freeing them up to do the extraordinary. Take pride in your teams accomplishments. TEAM=Together Everyone Accomplishes More.
3. When you quit learning, you quit.
There is a reason people quit learning. Many reasons in fact. Ask yourself some questions. What did I learn last week? What mistakes did I make that taught me something new? Who can I learn something from that will help me to do more with less? Who is mentoring me? What websites or books are on my list to read and scan? If you aren't learning anything new, you need to find out why. What is going on that you no longer feel challenged or motivated to learn. It's a very important question in this disruptive age. What is my Team learning?
4. True service is stressful.
And service in and through a team is extra stressful. Working with other people takes work. You don't just fall into the perfect team. I wish. You have to work at it. You may have great teammates, you may not. But they are the Team. What are you going to do to make the team better? There is a lot of under the surface stress here. Getting along, being accepted, various threats to your ego, competition. All of these workplace and team stressors come into play. It will do you good to understand Team and workplace dynamics or politics. Don't shy away from it. Read about it, take training about it. Politics is not a bad word in this case. Put two people together and you've got a team, policies, procedures, yes, politics. Figure it out. Up your game, learn some new words about how to work together. It will lower your negative stress a great deal. A book to read is Jill Geisler, Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know. Follow her on Facebook. She puts out phenomenal advice about the workplace and how to build the morale and productivity of Teams. You'll feel a lot better.
5. Remember that your family is your original Team.
God gave us people that grow so close to us that they become part of us. They are your best and foremost teammates. They support you, encourage you, listen to you, rejoice with you, suffer with you, eat with you, play with you, and through it all, stay with you. They are the first Team. Get that right and your other teams will know it and feel it and be empowered by it.
In the last three months at Tabitha, I've seen all this at work. Some teams have to work well, at a high level or they get disqualified and they eventually disappear or get disrupted. But when you are on an A-Team, there is nothing quite like it. Many people never get to experience it. That really is too bad. It's worth a great deal to join a well functioning team. The experience is life changing and therapeutic.
In fact, if you are looking for that special place to work at and serve, consider the Teams there and how they function to act out their values and how well they are on mission. Find that place where Team succeeds and you will have much success as well.