Christian Business Consulting - Building Servant Leaders
Christian Business Consulting - Know Your Team Members
An important part of Christian business consulting is to help the Christian business commit to helping others become successful - it's simply taking a genuine interest in knowing your team. "Know well the condition of your flocks -- and pay attention to your herds" (Proverbs 27:23). Each of us is a unique individual created by God -- like snow flakes, none of us are identical -- we all have different personalities, desires, visions, and optimal work environments. Without knowing this information, it's impossible to help "make others successful."
Enroll Team Members Thoroughly in the Company Identity
In the story of the Tower of Babel, the Lord made this observation, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them" (Genesis 11:6). This observation reveals three keys for success -- one people, one language, one purpose. Thus, a Christian business should consist of: (i) one people -- a group of individuals who see themselves as a team; (ii) one language -- a team using common words and phrases as part of its culture; and (ii) one purpose -- a team devoted to the organization's distinctive vision and strategy.
How does a Christian executive help a group of individuals move towards this "oneness"? Amos 3:3 states "unless two agree, how can they walk together?" "Agreement" is the key. The Christian business must continually and intentionally enroll each team member in the Company Identity -- the Being, Purpose, Mission, Strategic Distinctive, Vision, Values, Culture and Goals. We are a people of short attention spans -- unless we are continually reminded, we easily lose focus. In fact, the Christ-led executive must be fanatical about enrolling his or her team members in these foundations. If the team fails to internalize the Company Identity, the organization will consist of splintered factions (not one people) with multiple personalities/cultures (not one language) moving in multiple directions (not toward one purpose).
Lovingly Enfold Team Members
Building a team (i.e., one people) in a Christian business requires carefully placing each puzzle piece in its proper place. This is accomplished by lovingly enfolding each team member. The goal of this enfolding is to help each team member feel like they are an "insider" who "belongs" as an important and necessary part of the team. In 1 Corinthians 12:1-31, Paul explains the nature of the Body of Christ and the important role of each of its members. Paul shares the following important principles: (i) each team member must understand the important role he or she plays in the team's success; (ii) each team member must embrace all other team members as integral and important parts of the team; and (iii) each team member should be given the same care by other team members. If this is accomplished, the Christian business will have become "one people" -- a unified team -- and each of its team members will feel understood and appreciated about their contribution to the team.
Agree to Each Other's Expectations
Each party to a relationship has expectations. Relationships develop as we discover one another's expectations and as we fulfill them. Relationships often break down due to unknown or misunderstood expectations. Again, "unless two agree, how can they walk together?" It is important that the Christian executive and the team member jointly develop agreed-upon expectations. These expectations must be clear, quantifiable, and put in writing -- this will greatly reduce relational breakdown. The best time to develop mutual expectations is when the manager and team member jointly develop the team member's job description.
Equip Team Members for Success
Christian business consulting is all about equipping the Christian business leader with tools for team success. In turn, the Christian executive must equip his or her team members for success. Each team member will bring some of the "equipment" with them to the business, while some will be provided by the company itself. "Equipment" includes such things as technical skills, people skills, and physical working tools (working environment, equipment, software, etc.). If a team member is added with the understanding that additional "equipment" is needed, the Christian business must ensure that the employee is given whatever is required. Likewise, during the course of a team member's performance, certain weaknesses or "holes" will surface. In that case, the team member should be given ample opportunity to develop the skills that are lacking.
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