Book Review of "Overcoming the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team"

Teamwork in ministry is crucial. For years the church has tried to complete the Great commission and Great commandment mainly through the lead pastor. “Building an effective, cohesive team is extremely hard. But it’s also simple.”[1] It is not difficult to realize that a team must form to accomplish God’s mission. The interesting issue is finding the correct steps and practices to build a solid and cohesive framework for a team to grow. The reality is that many misconceptions about church leadership can be skewed due to a “one man show” focus rather than a team focus. This book reveals the ideas and practices of growing through any team dynamic and develops a plan to make team work a central priority. The goal of a staff should be unity and shared values. This quote explains further, “When people come together and set aside their individual needs for the good of the whole, they can accomplish what might have looked impossible on paper.”[2] This generation of leaders is making strides towards a team mentality and moving away from an independent, do it yourself attitude. The most important aspect of building a team is to let each person own a different part of the vision.

A functional team communicates in such a way that helps motivate one another to be the best they can be at their position. Constantly communicating the vision builds a team that is not build upon the fads of the day but upon clear principles that will help build the organization.

An important aspect of overcoming dysfunctions in team leadership is to clearly understand how to measure its productivity. Measuring any style of leadership can be difficult, especially team leadership. It takes a constant stand to make decisions as a team even when not all of the participants agree. Leading with a team is much harder to do compared to one person making all the decisions. The hard work that it takes to constantly build unity takes time and effort to continue. The results of a team working hard through any issues will many times result in a growing organization.

The foundation of team leadership must be on the basis of trust and commitment. The strength of the overall goals of the team derives from a focus to achieve the vision together. Communication is key in order for each person to have a clear objective to achieve within the framework of the mission. The overall passion is for a team to work well together and look at obstacles as opportunities to grow beyond to achieve God’s best.

One of the biggest questions from this book was the fact that it was not focused a whole lot upon the spiritual side of leadership. I think that having principles and plans to overcome the dysfunctions of a team are smart but there must be a deliberate decision to admit your need for God’s direction. The goal of a team is working towards an end result and if that goal is not focused upon truth, then the team is working in vain. The book should have been more specific on the heart of leadership versus the “how to’s” of leading a team. The heart of a leader is the most important aspect because out of the heart is the motive of leadership. The result of a clear heart and motives comes wisdom that will last. If the author had spent more time on this aspect, it would have been a clearer look at leadership.

Overall, the focus must be upon building a team that will build people into growing followers of Christ. The book highlights that the process of building a team can be hard; it is well worth it in the end. Building people is one of the main goals of leadership and without a group of leaders being focused upon honesty and loyalty, it will be difficult to attain. The end result of the journey is a destination of team leadership that will result in making an eternal impact.

[1] Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a team, 3.

[2] Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a team, 4.