Comradery.  Brotherhood. Family.  Team. Community.

If leadership is an art, a great leader’s medium is personal relationships.  Think of the truly great leaders you have experienced. More likely than not, they were able to quickly build rapport with those around them. I’m not saying they became lifelong friends with everyone around them, but they quickly established a positive relationship with you and other people in the community.

Great leaders provide a relationship environment.  Team goals and common purpose are rarely achieved and shared by groups of people who have never learned anything about one another.

During the past several months, we have hosted and facilitated several customized versions of our D4LC: MAPS program (MAPS is our retreat-style program for leadership teams).  We’ve facilitated the program for a variety of groups, such as a small marketing business, an FFA officer team, and the captains and coaches of a high school football team. In the short lifetime of the program, it has impacted many people.

As with all of our leadership programs, MAPS focuses on the importance of community.  It’s not a groundbreaking concept, of course. Communities thrive in a dynamic which possesses strong relationships.  This harmony translates into small groups and teams, as well. Those teams with strong relationships tend to achieve more successes and accomplish goals with more regularity.  Building strong relationships is key to building strong teams.

Measuring accomplishment is another crucial component in our team-building method.  Many teams measure success through wins, losses, and bottom lines. In our ultra-competitive world, it’s easy to forget the big picture accomplishments of strong communities.  When one thinks of a successful small town or a successful neighborhood, there is no black and white method of measuring wins and losses. Successful communities measure their accomplishments through togetherness, comradery, and strength of support.  They measure accomplishment by the strength of their relationships.

When we facilitate team building programs, such as MAPS, we focus on those intangible accomplishments.  It is our belief that teams who seek to measure their success by building relationships and a shared purpose will achieve the more tangible, measurable benchmarks more frequently and over longer periods of time.  

Strong teams need to know and care about each other.  They must understand each other in order to share a goal.  If you research the similarities of successful teams, you will often find they focus more on culture and community than tangible goals.  Concrete success follows as a product of strong community.

-Kurt Wissenburg, Conference & Curriculum Manager

“Good.” Jocko Willink

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