Decisions that are made through teamwork are often better decisions because they are better informed and the members of the team are more likely to have made sure that all of the issues surrounding a particular decision were addressed quite thoroughly. Doing this, Barna believes, will ensure that individuals that work in teams have less stress, less blame, and fewer problems than those that do not use teamwork for their churches.
Response to the Text
Supervisors that create and participate in teams often find that employees will talk things over with their teammates, and because they are all in the same basic situation at work, they will speak freely, truly listen, and offer information and advice that might be helpful. By the time that the supervisor asks for their input, they have usually reached an agreement on most things that they wish to discuss, and the supervisor that really listens to this information will learn a great deal about the employees needs and concerns in a short period of time. It only stands to reason that leaders working in teams will also fair well in getting things done and in being able to accomplish much.
A good team leader and supervisor will pay attention to what he or she has heard from the employees in the team, and then this information will be used to make better decisions about many aspects of company policy. Employees who are consulted in this way often give thoughtful input that has been discussed with others, instead of simply complaining about something specific, which is detrimental to the listening and decision-making process.
Argument can also be very effective. This does not mean that fighting should be encouraged, but arguing and fighting are actually very different from one another. Arguing involves disagreeing on some specific aspect of something, or on a specific point-of-view. Arguments are often well thought-out, and they are not designed to attack the other person, but to simply point out the issues and problems that one sees in the other person's perception or view point. Because of this, proper arguing requires good listening. There are many valid points that are often made during this type of exchange, and sometimes one of the people can be swayed by the persuasive argument of the other person. This can only be done if both individuals are truly open to listening to what the other individual has to say.
The point of the above information is to indicate that there are many different aspects to leadership, and there are many different ways to approach it from a decision-making perspective, but it is best done with teamwork. Because of this, it is vital that it be studied more thoroughly and issues that relate to it brought to light in order to help those that must deal with these issues do so effectively. There are many reasons to study team leadership in the decision-making process, and this idea plays such a vital role and is such a major component in this process that to not study it would be to do a great disservice to businesses and employees everywhere, including those that work in churches.
The work that Barna does and discusses within the book shows how important this particular kind of study is and how much has been learned about teamwork and leadership. Originally, it was thought that there should only be one leader and he or she (usually he) should run everything. It was all right if the employees worked in teams, but it was not something that was seen to be acceptable for leaders. Slowly, however, this started to change and people became more accepting of the idea that teamwork and leadership could go together and not be a problem. In the future, it is likely that ideas like the ones that Barna talks about in this book will become even more popular throughout the business world.
Moore, H. Oliver, L.R., Griffin, K., and Hoyt, D.R. (1990). Listening to employees: have we heard enough yet? Industrial Management.
Barna, George. (2001). The Power of Team Leadership: Achieving Success through Shared Responsibility. New York: WaterBrook Press.
Temme, J. (1995). Building teams: becoming an effective team means listening, counseling. Plant Engineering.
Mallin, I.A., & Vasby, K. (2000). Inviting constructive argument. Argumentation and Advocacy.