After a recent loss, a thirteen-year-old boy on my son’s soccer team said to me, “Well, I don’t feel like I lost.”
“Really?” I asked him. “How do you figure?”
He proudly announced, “Well, I’m a forward, and we forwards did our part by scoring three goals. It’s really the defense that lost the game because they gave up too many goals. They’re the losers.”
I kindly pointed out to him how absurd his reasoning was, not only because there is only one score for the team, but because every player on the field plays defense, though perhaps on different parts of the field. Even a forward plays a role in preventing the other team from scoring by making it difficult for the opponent’s defense to organize an attack.
To be fair, the kid smiled and acknowledged the ridiculousness of his original remark.
Story found in Patrick Lencioni’s book The Advantage
I know that historically this has been a problem for the teams I have been on. For example, in my church work previous to working with First Priority, we had a choir director and a praise band leader on staff with us. Each Tuesday morning during staff meeting, there was unspoken tension between the two. It didn’t come out verbally very often, but every once in a while when a major change was on the horizon, the subtle comments about whose service was better or larger or fill in the blank started to come out. I never realized that the church staff was my number one team rather than the youth team. I loved my student ministry volunteers and cared for them deeply. I thought that they were my number one priority. I knew that I didn’t want to be a part of the worship wars, so I stayed away. But had I realized that being on a united team with the staff rather than my youth team would have taken our church further, I would have put more time and energy into those relationships. Instead, the whole conversation irritated me.
This brings me to First Priority and the HOPE writing team. We are better together in the FP family! Having Joel, Phillip, Natalie, and now Haley and Steve Coleman on the HOPE writing team has increased the quality and the effectiveness of all of our clubs around the country! I would go as far as saying that even the clubs that do not use this year’s HOPE writing are affected in a positive way by it being there. I know that the HOPE writing is better because of the EPiC strategy being used this year in South Florida. Why? Because we glean from the South Florida team and use it in HOPE. What is my point? The First Priority family around the country is all of our number one team.
Patrick Lencioni says it like this: “The only way for a leader to establish this collective mentality on a team is by ensuring that all members place a higher priority on the team they’re a member of than the team they lead in their department.” (page 68)
For those of you working inside an FP chapter as a club’s Coach, Area Coordinator, Teacher Sponsor, Board Member, or other volunteer, would you see your place in the chapter as the team to have unity with? We can quickly get caught up in the ups and downs of a club, but by being on the larger team in your community, all clubs will rise together.
For those of you who are Directors and Coordinators of a FP Chapter, will you see First Priority in America as your number one team? If so, thank you! So many of you do feel this way already, which is why the FP tide is rising!! We have several teams that are working on more than the HOPE strategy. Scott Emerine is leading our marketing team. John Carruth is leading the team planning the 2020 FP fall conference. Shane Kenney is leading a think tank on writing a new four-week strategy. Joel Rowland is leading the HOPE writing for 2020-2021. Mark Robbins is putting together a team to rework our mission statement. There are a few people on the fund development team who work on strategies and training.
By sharing your voice on one of these teams, you are being a part of the team that you are on rather than simply (not that it is simple) leading your chapter. I believe, no I KNOW, that your chapter will be better because you are sharing your voice in the collaborative efforts of First Priority.
For those of you on a team already, thank you! For those of you who are not, would you consider it for the good of your chapter and for the First Priority family?