Erik Bennett is not a self proclaimed Rookie Pastor, but he wants to pour into those of us who are. In this post Erik with his 15 years of youth ministry experience has learned the value of the team. Check out the rest of Erik’s stuff on his blog.
Take thirty seconds and list your top five favorite movies. Now, compare your list to mine:
1. The Shawshank Redemption
2. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
4. Slumdog Millionaire
5. Notting Hill
I’ve made confession. Did you catch it? #5. It is what it is. I’m 6’2″. Coach all of my sons little league teams. Eat meat topped with bacon. Dislike ballet and on occasion, enjoy a good chick flick. As someone who loves leading teams let me say…If you want to grow as a Team Leader, than you need to watch a good chick flick. What’s that now? Yes, chick flicks
Is there a greater skill for a leader to master than their ability to understand people? Chick flicks will help you do this. Download #5. Put on a comfy robe. Grab some tissue. Butter some popcorn. Get ready to take some notes. Here are three things chick flicks teach us about Team Leadership
1. Fate brought you together. Figure out why.
In every good chick flick there is a scene early in the film that rallies the hero to heroin and endears audience to story. It is the, meant to be scene. It ensures that the audience understands that this couple, although apart, must join together so that a.) the world will not blow up b.) the kingdom will survive c.) true love will prevail against all odds. This moment connects us to first to characters, then to story
The meant to be scene is uniquely important to Team Leadership. Your team must feel connected to you and then to your process. Remember the saying, ‘people don’t quit jobs, they quit people’? This is especially true for the Millennial generation that is filling up the workplace with relational expectations. Every team member, regardless of generation, needs to know that their placement on your team is meant to be.
Tell the story of their purpose to the team. Explain their role repeatedly. Make your team feel more important than end results. Get This: Chick Flicks are character driven, so are your teams. Good leaders gain loyal followers when they regularly engage their team in role, purpose and process discussions.
2. Expect conflict. Fight for the relationship.
There is always a pre-break up scene in every good chick flick. Before the hero and heroine commit their love to one another they end it. It usually sounds like a.) we are from different worlds b.) we are too young c.) I’m a vampire and you are not. This middle section of the movie propels story via conflict. It causes us to pick sides. More importantly, it causes us to root for the couple.
The hero exists to save, rescue and express his love at any cost. You are no different. Stop looking to them to make you feel better about yourself and step up to the humble task of relational leadership. Stop using language that expresses ego, fatigue and boredom. This scripting makes you seem disengaged from relationships.
Too many leaders assume that this is endearing because it gains temporary sentiment. It’s not. It’s weak. It causes pre-break up. No one likes a wimpy lead character. Like a chick flick hero, speak boldly to the story of your team. Declare your loyalty to them in days, months and years. Preach longevity. Get this: Employee’s trend short-term these days. Still, focus on building long-term loyalty that exists after employee turn over. Good leaders gain loyal followers when relationships are securely built over time.
3. Wear good shoes. There will be running.
There is a track meet at the end of every good chick flick. Running through a city. Running through an airport. Running through a field. Running. Running. Running. Here’s a short list to prove my point:
Notting Hill: running to a press junket.
Pretty Woman: running up a fire escape.
Sleepless in Seattle: Running to the Empire State building.
Titanic: Running off a ship.
Can you imagine the hero running away from the heroine while violins play the victory swoon? Never happens. Run towards and not away from as a leader. Be the definitive pursuer of your team in, around, and through barriers. This will endear you to your team.
Pursue them by making sure that everyone feels valid. Do this by creating an atmosphere of support through verbal communication. Allow patience. Get this: You will do more slowly together, than quickly in isolation. Help your team express appreciation for each other. Good leaders know they are an effective relational leader when other department employee’s ask you if you have any needs in yours.
How are you doing as a relational leader?