Little attention must be given to the saying, “It’s not how you start but how you finish that matters”. I get the spirit in which this is usually said, but it must never be applied where you have opportunity for a great start. If you didn’t have a great start don’t botch the pursuit; do the best you can for a great finish. At the same time, do all you can at the momentum starting line. Why start badly or weak when you can have a great start?
Momentum helps obliterate obstacles. Momentum inherently bears motivation. It is easier to inspire teams, more is achieved, and innovation is the rule not the exception. Everyone rises to the challenges as they endeavor to bring their best to the party. I’m sure you have, at one point or another, had a taste of this. To be a part of a high-functioning team that sees no obstacle. Maybe a glimpse of it.
What I’ve just described is a product of many things. There’s usually no silver bullet; no one thing that inspires such results. A symphony is the act of many under the guidance of leadership. There’s a responsibility on the part of leadership to create the environment that sees the mission accomplished. This applies to all parties, paid or unpaid, full-time or volunteers.
Thus, at the momentum starting line a few things need to be checked. Leaders and teams must work together to create a symphony of great purpose. This is a great exercise at the start of the year, campaign, project or initiative. Hopefully, this check-in inspires momentum and sees your church mature in action and character to be the local church God needed by your community.
Despite the varied roles, everyone, ultimately contributes to one clear goal. Bringing everyone together at the start line is important. It prevents scattering. Focused teams are high performing teams. It may seem redundant but being explicit makes the target that much more obvious.The clearer the target, the easier it is to hit.Click To Tweet
Some leaders make the mistakes of obsessing of the ‘how’ at the expense of the ‘why’. The pursuit of the target must be laden with purpose. Why gives purpose to the how.Without the 'why' innovation is crippled.Click To Tweet
The momentum starting line is the point where you clarify the reason for everything you do. When your team knows why, there’s a greater likelihood for them to come up with better ‘hows’ – innovation.
When you start out make everyone understands not only the ultimate goal but their unique contribution. Momentum can’t be built and sustained in ambiguity.Momentum can't be built and sustained in ambiguity.Click To Tweet
When team members are clear on their contribution they are liberated to own it. As people take responsibility less balls are dropped and goals are met.
Sometimes teams fail to deliver not for lack of clarity on goals and their roles but from not having everything they need. This is about resources and more. Sometimes it is about systems and workflow. It can also be about the different forms of support the team needs to give each other.
Leader, does your team have everything its need? Have you checked with them?
On any journey, you know you’re on track when you see signs confirming you’re not only headed in the right direction but that you have less distance to cover. When teams know when and where they need to be they know how fast they need to move. Are there any milestones. Nothing is as self-defeating and discouraging as realising your toil was for nothing.
Confidence and momentum increase with every confirmation that you’re on the right track. Thus, milestones are important to build in and communicate at the momentum starting line.
Milestones can be in the form of regular check-in meetings. This is where team members and teams can share where they are and what they’re occupied with as well as their present challenges.
Regular meetings are like course corrections. You can be derailed heading in the right direction. It is wise to have meetings even when everything is going great. Meetings are not only necessarily when things are going badly but when they’re going great also.
Just as important as it is to know why things aren’t going well it is important to know when the opposite is true. There could be something other teams could learn and adopt.
Momentum for your staff and volunteer teams is something that can be inbuilt from the start. Be intentional about it. Inform or remind everyone of the ultimate goal. Make sure every team member understands what their contribution is. Do they have everything they need? Are there clear milestones and good systems for ongoing feedback?