Yesterday, I wrote a post about the need to develop a “dream team” with gifts, talents and ideas that are different from your own. I made the point that you need a team who thinks differently than you, isn’t afraid to question you, come up with opposing ideas, and challenge what you’re doing – because that team will push you into a bigger vision for your dream.
It’s essential for seeing your dream come to pass.
But, as many of you made mention of in the comments, that’s much easier said than done.
It’s not easy to assemble a team that will push you, challenge you, give you new ideas and perspective. It’s not easy to find a group of people who will give constructive criticism, point out areas where you are thinking too small but not try to over-criticize and stop the dream. It’s not easy to develop a team that is committed to the dream, willing to put differences aside and work together…even when they want to kill each other.
It’s not easy to find a group of people you are willing to open yourself up to and allow to speak into your dream.
And while there is no magic formula to finding the members of your “Dream Team,” there are a few guidelines that you should look for in anyone you may approach to be on your team:
- Shares the same vision: every dream has at its core a non-negotiable vision – that one goal, one purpose or calling, that every person needs to share. It’s the reason you are pursuing this dream, the one thing that sets you apart from others who do the same thing. Maybe for you it’s writing a book that can be used in small groups, or teaching students life skills to help them in practical ways. For Ignite, it’s not just starting nice little bible study groups for Christians to have their weekly fix. It’s about empowering them to make lasting change in their high schools, colleges and, in the future, their workplaces. If someone doesn’t share that core vision, they can’t be on the team.
- Shares your core values: every one, every organization, has a list of values they operate from – whether they are written down and made public or just exist in the minds of those involved. These core values push you, guide you and help you make decisions to impact your dream. If one of your core values is to help people without expecting anything in return, it would not be beneficial to have someone on your team who is in it for the money. Find your values, write them down, and check to see if those you want on your team share those same values.
- Sold out to the dream or vision: we all know those people at work or in other organizations who seem to be in leadership just to be in leadership. They don’t seem excited about the work they are doing. They aren’t passionate about it. They just go through the motions to reap the benefits of a paycheck, or notoriety or power. If someone isn’t passionate about the dream you’re pursuing, if they aren’t talking about it, willing to sacrifice for it, they probably will only hold you back. The men and women who make up the leadership in Ignite are passionate about impacting young people. Long before they came on the team, they were talking about making a difference, mentoring young people and giving of their time and energy to see something happen. Whether they are on the Ignite team or not, they would be impacting young people. That makes a great team member.
- Willing to speak their mind, while also working as a team: there’s a difference between someone who thinks differently than you (and actually shares those thoughts) and someone who just wants things done their way. Look for people who have opinions, are willing to share those opinions, but put the good of the dream, vision or organization above their own need to be right.
- Hardworking: dreams are not easy to achieve. There’s a lot of time, hard work, obstacles to overcome, red tape to cut through and energy expended to make a dream come true. You need people on your team who are willing to put in the hard work, and don’t just push it off onto someone else.
- Dependable: this is by far one of the most important qualities to look for in a potential team member. If you can’t trust someone to show up on time, be prepared, or just even be there when the work needs to get done, you probably don’t want them on your team, no matter how intelligent or connected they are.
- Prays for Discernment: above all else, you need to find people who pray, listen to God, and are able to discern the direction He is giving you. In your excitement to see your dream come to pass, you may not see, or heed, the warning signs from God. If you are going to have a team that pushes your dream forward, you need people who are going before God with this dream and seeking His answers.
Assembling your Dream Team isn’t easy, but with these guidelines, and a lot of prayer, you should be able to find a group of people who will push you, encourage you, bring new and different ideas to the table, while always keeping the good of the dream ahead of their own desires.
List out your criteria. Look for people who are sold out. Pray. Use discernment. Be willing to say no to people who wouldn’t be a good addition to your team.
And trust that God will bring the right people to propel your dream into reality.