The Nature of Impactful Teams

I regularly read a handful of blogs and daily newsletters, including the following: Seth Godin, Notes from the Universe, Ransomed Heart and Richard Rohr. I also have a spiritual practice that involves reading various daily devotionals on my YouVersion app. While I typically look to my YouVersion devotionals to fill up my faith and spiritual cup, one recent entry by Perry Noble gifted me with a powerful insight into what I’m calling the nature of impactful teams.

The daily reading was the following:

“You know you have the right team when you don’t just love the work you do, you love the people you do it with. You know you have the right team when problems do not belong to ‘me’ but rather they belong to ‘we!’ You know you have the right team when the people you lead love you and the organization too much to allow team members to make a ridiculous decision. The right team will refuse to allow personal preferences to dictate decisions and will embrace uncomfortable conversations. The right team will bring people in when making a decision that directly impacts their area, understanding that this does not slow down the process, but speeds it up, because people are way more likely to buy into a decision when they’ve had input.”

Wow … how’s that for a team formula (or at least a design) that embodies the truest nature of an effective and impactful team!

The formula is certainly simple:

  • Love the people you work with
  • Approach problems (and solutions) with a “we” mindset
  • The team loves each other too much to allow anyone to make ridiculous decisions
  • The team embraces uncomfortable conversations and refuses to allow personal preferences to guide decisions
  • The leader and the team get the right people involved in decisions, which accelerates impact and buy in

I’m guessing that most of you will agree that these are powerful elements of an impactful team, but the real question is this: in what ways can you create, build and nurture teams with these simple elements?

While a full answer to the above question would require much more time and attention, I want to offer you a simple approach to move in the direction of impact – an approach that will help develop and support all of the foregoing elements of this true nature of a team.


Yes, one word – trust. Not the creation of trust, which is important, but the act of trust. While trust can be challenging and even elusive, we all know that the best way to create trust is to first be trusting. Yes, this is scary because it’s vulnerable and exposes us to the risks of disappointment and even betrayal, but trust starts with trust.

We all want to create teams with the elements described above, but great outcomes always require some form of risk—and in this case, the risk is to trust.

As leaders in your organizations and teams, are you willing to trust … first? Are you willing to give trust in the hope of building trust? Are you willing to take the risk by trusting in order to move everyone else towards trust and thereby an impactful team?

We all talk about wanting our teams to have impact, but the more important question is whether we’re willing to do what it takes (including taking the risks) in order to move in the direction of an impactful team.

If you say you’re willing, then there’s only one thing to do – TRUST!

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