At Ignite Youth, we strive to be more than a team. Here are four characteristics that I watch and nurture as our team moves to the next level and becomes a family.
People like each other: I know that is easier said than done. Great teams will have many different strengths and personalities represented. When you bring a lot of people together who see things differently, opportunities for misunderstanding or conflict may arise. If left unattended, unresolved conflict will destroy your team. As a leader, you must always be aware of the nuances of your team and the tension points that exist. Promote an environment where differences are embraced. Continue to remind people of why they are on the team and why they are important to the organization. Encourage a team mentality and camaraderie.
People challenge each other: In my family, we like to win. Playing the board game Risk at a family gathering always provides the type of drama you can sell tickets for. Why? For no other reason than we like to win! In a culture where people want to win, there will always be positive peer pressure to bring your best every day. I feel like this is incredibly healthy for a team if members challenge each other to improve and grow towards their potential. However, as a leader, you must make sure that this does not get out of control (like my family game of Risk). While clearing a table and seeing little different colored army guys fly across a room may be funny for a few minutes at home, it’s not as funny in the workplace.
People laugh with each other: Laughing at each other, with each other, and at yourself are all very healthy experiences in the workplace. I know, there are many leaders who are afraid that a respect line can get crossed. In this instance, I think of my grandfather. I had immense respect for my him; however, if any of the 17 hairs on his head were out of place, yes, I was laughing at him. That doesn’t mean I don’t respect him. It means it’s funny, and that’s okay to admit. A work environment where people can laugh is extremely important in today’s world. Life is too serious and people deal with heavy pressures everywhere they go. As a leader, I want the office to be a place where team members can take a deep breath and remember that God is good and we are in this together. So…together we laugh!
People hurt with each other: The true mark that a team has moved to the next level and become family is when the team begins to hurt with one another. This is more than being moved or saddened by someone’s misfortune or difficult circumstance. When someone on the team is going through a situation, it will affect how everyone interacts and responds. This calls for more than the typical, “I’m sorry you’re going through that. I’ll be praying for you” response. This is when your concern reaches a level that causes you to extend a hand and go above and beyond for each other. When a team hurts together, people will personally make sacrifices for the sake of their friends. As a leader, you should continually create space for this. It starts with the “How are you doing?” questions that come from a place of sincerity and care.
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Three Core Values
Our identity is informed by the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.
When we encounter Jesus through our obedience to the Spirit’s leading, we are empowered to demonstrate the gospel.
We engage in the mission of God when we love Christ, serve others, and proclaim the gospel.
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