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As I continue this long and sometimes painful journey of pioneering a non-profit I’m constantly reminded of the importance of team. So many churches, sports teams and businesses seem to always have a key person as the “face” of the organization.

But great organizations don’t become great because of one person. My theory is quite simple, I’m praying that God will surround me with a team of people who share my passion, but who do things so much better then I do.  Here is what I’m looking for in a team:

1. Passion: If I have to motivate them, then I don’t want them on the team. If someone lacks passion then they become a hindrance to the vision of the organization. Get rid of them asap.

2. Organized: It’s really hard to image someone being truly effective in any aspect in life if they don’t have a sense of organization. I’m not talking about the highly organized individual, I just want someone who can understand the importance of structure and decision-making. We all impact each other.

3. Controlled: I want the team to be passionate. At the same time I don’t want every meeting to drain the life out of the team. We all have to learn when to push buttons and when to relax and move forward.

4. Work-ethic: Again, if someone lacks proper work-ethic, there is a big issue. You want to be around a team that gets things done. If they are passionate, organized and work hard, they are going to produce. If I have to micro-manage productivity, then my life will stink and the culture we create will not be healthy.

5. Attitude: If I can’t do life with the team, if I don’t want to be around them…or they don’t want to be around me, that is not going to suffice. You gotta be able to do life together and enjoy the process.I want my team to be my friends. I want to fight for them and I need to know that they will fight for me.

6. Focused: For dreamers its really easy to have so many dreams and still get so little done. Less is more, especially in the beginning. I struggle with this issue. You have to have people who start something and finish something. This is why a team needs balance. If you have to many dreamers and not enough implementers your organization will have great idea’s but little fruit. I’m a dreamer…I gotta find the implementer. If I start something I want to finish it. Typically implementers will have a higher success rate finishing what the dreamer started.

In my opinion, the implementer is the most important member of the organization. It’s easy to dream, it’s hard to see the dream come alive and produce. Usually pioneers have to be good at both: Dreaming and implementing. You don’t have to be great at both and over the course of time it will be vital to hire the right team-member.

7. Clarity: I have so many ideas that it’s easy to overwhelm people. Just ask my friends. The team has to be clear about the initiatives that they are working on. This is the leaders job. So vital…yet so hard. The team needs to know that they are working on the right things at the right time with the right people.

8. Leadership: Can the team lead when we need them to? Can they make tough decisions? Can the fire when someone needs to be fired? Can they confront when someone is not doing the job right? Can they sacrifice and set an example? When I hire people, I want to hire leaders. No matter what role they fill, I want them to lead.

Questions to ask:

Is the strategy clear? Do you have the right team in place? Is the team cohesive and effective? Did you hire leaders? Or did you hire workers…?

Anything else I should add?



  1. Wow, thanks Chris. Right on the money. Very clear strategy, it’s all about implementation, now!

  2. Send me the info on ELP, if you’re still interested on me joining. I’m interested

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