Archives For Authority

Have you ever been on a great team?
Maybe you haven’t won the NBA Finals but no one could touch your Little League team. Or maybe, it’s your team at work–always on budget, on time, producing great work and having fun while you do it. Great teams are a gift. Great teams are rare. Great teams are a lot of work…but worth it.
What does it take to build a great team? What does it take to be a great team member?
For the last two weeks I’ve been immersed in a really productive planning session with my team at work (hence the lack of writing). We went deep, really deep into everything we’re doing. We got a lot done but a more important by-product was a great team building week. After seventeen trust-falls, we hit a really big breakthrough…just kidding. As I’ve observed great teams in action, both from a distance and up close, here are eight things I believe it takes to build a great team.

How to build a great team 

1. Great teams get prioritized. A team may start out with multiple agendas and priorities but if they don’t come together around a common vision and set of shared priorities, they aren’t going anywhere. You may see individual greatness but team greatness simply won’t happen. I’ve written about the importance of getting your own day prioritized, the same thing is true for your team.
2. Great teams don’t force it. It’s hard to force trust and friendship. It’s not about trust falls and forced social mixers. It’s been tried many a time, but doesn’t work. Rather, be yourself and let the relationships develop naturally. Sure, there will be some awkward moments but stay after it. Getting beyond the surface relationally will bind your team together.
3. Great teams spend time together. Email is great but email alone will never build a great team. Regular face time is vital–body language, tone of voice, back and forth, posture–nothing replaces face time. You also need to get some extended time together, road trips, new experiences and dinners out. Getting out of the office context allows you to learn more about your team members. 
4. Great teams take time to form. Yes, there are those stories of the couples that meet, get engaged and married a week later, but let’s all agree it’s not the norm. Relationships take time, they take conflict and miss-communications, they take apologies and forgiveness. The only short-cut might be taking on the role of a servant, care more about your team than yourself and you’ll see the relationship blossom.
5. Great teams require you to play your position. Don’t make your teammates do your job AND don’t envy your team members positions. You’ve got a role to play and if you neglect your position, someone else has to pick up the slack. In life there is always someone better, smarter, prettier, wealthier, shorter or taller. We’re diverse for a reason and your team needs you to be you.
6. Great teams back each other up. We’re selfish by nature. If the ball isn’t coming to me why would I move. The true hustlers and the true team members will support each other and get behind each other even if they aren’t the center of attention. You shouldn’t need to do their job for them, but when the load is too heavy to haul on their own, you should be there to help pick things up.
7. Great teams build the right culture. Don’t build a culture, build the right culture. A culture might be your personal preference and what works for you. The right culture is what is best for the organization; sometimes they’re the same and sometimes they aren’t. Always asking yourself, “What’s best for the team?”, will keep you from building the wrong culture.
8. Great teams enjoy their work. Joy filled enthusiasm to show up and perform your job everyday is huge. This is driven more by attitude than it is circumstances. If you’re heart is in the right place, engaged, excited, humble, then you should be able to enjoy it regardless of the job. This includes the good times and the hard times, the right team is invaluable in both.
What’s lacking from your team? How can you be a catalyst towards greatness? It’s worth the effort, I promise.
For more on this subject check out my book Authority on Amazon.

I was recently asked by a couple of people about my e-book publishing process. The actual process of publishing the book is fairly simple, but don’t kid yourself: it’s a ton of work. I’ve learned a lot about it and want to share some of the best practices and tools to help things run more smoothly and efficiently. Tom Corson-Knowles might have the most helpful book on the market when it comes to Kindle publishing in particular. A few of these things I wish I would have learned beforehand.

Here’s some info on how I’ve done it up to this point and how I’ll do it moving forward.

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Last day friends! If you haven’t gotten a copy of my latest book Authorityhead over to Amazon and grab your free copy.

You do not need a Kindle to read the book! You can download the free Kindle viewer app for Mac or PC, or download it on your mobile device.

Your help has been a blessing

The power-tweeting and posting is almost over! Seriously, I know I’ve been talking about this book a lot over the last month but that’s what I do when I’m excited about something. Your encouraging feedback has been a blessing as well.

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A Tale of Two Kings

March 12, 2013

This post was adapted from my book Authority: The Leader’s Call to Serve. You can get a copy free on Amazon for a limited time.

In the later years of King Solomon’s reign, he made conditions for the Israelites extremely harsh. The people referred to his reign as a heavy yoke. In the period after Solomon’s death, the void in leadership resulted in a division between the people of Israel. In hopes of bettering their working conditions, the people wanted to have a man named Jeroboam made king instead of Solomon’s son,   Rehoboam. They were so fed up with Solomon’s rule, Rehoboam had to flee to the city of Shechem, afraid for his life.

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For a brief time, you can head over to Amazon and get a free copy of my newest E-book, Authority: The Leader’s Call to Serve

A concise, actionable handbook on biblical leadership

Approximately 40 pages in print, you will be able to read this book in one sitting—that was my goal. I want you to come away with a clearer understanding of where authority and leadership come from, and how you can steward your responsibility for the glory of God.

Not only have I not found another book on biblical leadership as concise, many of the topics in Authority are not commonly addressed in Christian circles.

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Safety, really? Why safety?

This may sound counter-intuitive to the typically touted strong, courageous, “go get ‘em”, Rambo-esque paradigm that we so often hold up as the perfect leadership model. But I would argue that one of a leader’s greatest needs is safety.

What safety doesn’t mean is a low-risk, overly comfortable, and tenured job security that keeps the wrong people on the team because you don’t like to deal with conflict. Rather, safety does mean a strong foundation, a refuge from the demands of the job, and a place of strength for the team to work from.

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I recently published a new book, Authority: The Leader’s Call to Serve,  and I wanted to share four of the important leadership questions addressed in the book.

The answers to these leadership questions include excerpts from the book.

1. How can leaders faithfully steward the authority they’ve been given?

We must be able to see ourselves as both servant and leader. Some days we’re taking out trash; other days we’re in charge of the most critical project of the year.

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Announcing the Authority Book

February 12, 2013


I am excited to announce the release of Authority: The Leader’s Call to Serve.

This is a book for everyone – an honest and practical for leaders AND those who serve under leaders.

Whether you’re the boss or you have a boss, this book is for you.

You can buy a digital copy on Amazon.

You can also download a free PDF sample here. 



Why did I write this book?

This book is the product of my own experience with leadership and responsibility, the good and the bad. Much like Money: God or Gift, this book is concise and practical. It examines the subject of authority in leadership, as well as how to manage and respond to authority faithfully. I don’t claim to be the expert on authority, but I have had the opportunity to be on both sides of the equation on the org chart. What I’ve learned is that how you respond in either scenario is so important to your life and future. I hope this book helps challenge, encourage and maximize your leadership.



A few weeks back I got an email from a friend at church with a really good question:

“Just wondering if you ever get depressed when beginning a book or new project?”  

She was wrestling through the process of writing a curriculum. Her question was timely for me; it forced me to articulate for myself the ups and downs of writing (or of working on any major project for that matter). 

12 Types of Authority

February 5, 2013

This post was adapted from my book Authority: The Leader’s Call to Serve.

No doubt about it, authority is one of the most polarizing words around. But it is also a natural and necessary aspect of life. Even those who seem most resistant to authority can’t escape it, both in their relationships with others and in their own plans and ideas.

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