In this series of articles, I am calling “On the Team” Tuesdays, I hope to explore our families, our churches and our friendships as “Teams”, and how that applies to us as the leaders within those teams. I will be applying some military strategy and doctrine to help illustrate my points, so if that offends you, I apologize upfront.
Let’s start with our team ethos:
- I will always place the team and the mission first.
- I will never accept defeat, I will never quit.
- I will never leave a teammate, or a fallen comrade behind.
I think there are team and leadership lessons right here in this three line statement.
Who the team is; is pretty obvious, but what is the mission? I guess that depends on what “Team” we are talking about. Is the team our family, and we as leaders are struggling against temptation and worldly things to be parents and set good examples? Is the team our church, and we as leaders are fighting the enemy that is finding ways to keep us away from church or from being Holy? Is the team our friends who we struggle to love as they continue in the ways of the world and we as leaders grow further apart from because of how we have decided to live our lives?
The second line may be slightly more difficult to comprehend in this context, but bear with me for a minute. Defeat has many faces. It could be giving in to temptation, it could be taking the easy way out, it could be finding excuses to not make it to church. This is why we must maintain our teams, they are our support structure, they will be the ones that will listen when you need to talk about your desire to quit. These are the people that…”Will have your ‘Six’”. I will never forget a Chief I encountered at BUDs. He told me once, “Slowing is okay, hurting is okay, crying is okay, and puking is okay, quitting is not”. Those eloquent words have been with me for years, Quitters don’t care, and we care about our teammates don’t we?
The third line in this statement is going to be the hardest for most men I believe. Offering a hand to someone that is struggling, digging deep and finding a comforting word for a friend that is hurting, is not our usual reaction. We just want to tell them to suck it up and be a man. How do you tell a twelve year old girl who is experiencing her first fight with a friend to just suck it up? Secondly a teammate or fallen comrade could be asking a friend at church where they have been lately or dropping a line to a buddy and letting them know they were missed on Sunday.
Lastly I want to leave you with some thoughts that I hope will generate more conversation. How do we prepare our teammates for the being part of other teams? In other words, how do we prepare our sons to be leaders in the future? Men, how do we show our daughters how their husbands should treat them? What kind of example are we to the young men at church or a t work who want to be on a team? And finally, Are we on the right team on Sunday and the wrong team on Monday?