Archive for December 25, 2014

And a, Share your Leadership Gift in a Pear Tree #12DaysofLeadership

Welcome to TeamTRI’s 12 Days of Leadership! We have been celebrating the holiday season by sharing 12 days of powerful leadership ideas, resources and content. We hope these articles got you in the holiday spirit and ready to go lead the world to greatness! Today’s article is by Hayley Henderson (@TeamTRI_Hayley)


Partridge in a Pear TreeYou might have caught on by now that the 12 Days of Leadership blog series has somewhat followed along with the Christmas song that we know as the 12 Days of Christmas. Today is the closing of this series as we celebrate with friends and family Christmas day. The song’s gifts are hidden meanings to the teachings of the faith. The “true love” mentioned in the song does not refer to an earthly suitor, it refers to God Himself. The “me” who receives the presents refers to every baptized person. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Son of God that many of us celebrate the birthday of on December 25th. “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is said to have been developed by Christians who could not openly practice their faith because they lived in societies where Christianity was forbidden.

What is so wonderful is that we live in a world now where we can practice publicly what we believe. Everyday in this blog series we have showed you techniques, advice, or facts where you can become a better leader in 2015. Your strengths DO NOT need to be hidden. At TeamTRI, we want you to get out in this world and go for your leadership dreams.

God sent His one and only son as a gift to this world. But, did you know that each and every one of us has a special gift that we can use to help others? Romans 12:6-8 states:

We all have different gifts, each of which came because of the grace God gave us. The person who has the gift of prophecy should use that gift in agreement with the faith.Anyone who has the gift of serving should serve. Anyone who has the gift of teaching should teach. Whoever has the gift of encouraging others should encourage. Whoever has the gift of giving to others should give freely. Anyone who has the gift of being a leader should try hard when he/she leads. Whoever has the gift of showing mercy to others should do so with joy.

The gift of Leadership may be something you have already discovered that you have. Often the characteristics of this gift can be seen as:

  • Having a vision and are able to get others to buy into that vision
  • Are able to inspire others towards a good work, direction, or course of actions
  • Others seem to naturally and willingly follow because of their servant heart
  • Take initiative in starting new projects or going a new direction
  • Others trust your character, ability, skill level, and judgment
  • Are willing to step forward and be responsible for some task

Everything God creates has a specific assignment and purpose. Your assignment and purpose can be based on some of the following:

  • The gifts you have been given. Some of us are great communicators in front of others, while some of us may have gifts in other areas.
  • Personality traits
  • Talents
  • Passions
  • Variety (meaning we all can bring something different to the table)

We have all been given an assignment. Jesus had the assignment of being born in this world and to love us so much that He died on the cross for OUR SINS.
No one else on this planet can do your assignment. Your assignment has something to do with meeting a need, solving a problem, or assisting a person. The most unfulfilled people are those who have yet to discover their assignment. Once you discover the assignment and purpose for your life you will:

1)   Have inner peace

2)   Have outer adversity

3)   Have more fruit

Know that when discovering your purpose and assignment it may not be easy. Look at the surrounding you live in, and do the most you can where you are; you were place in that environment for a reason. We live life moving forward, but understand it looking back.

So I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone in 2015. Today, look around and see all the wonderful blessings you have, and feel free to tweet us @TeamTRI with any of your exciting Christmas moments. As we move forward in the New Year, discover the gift that you can bring to this world. Discover what makes you happy, and the strength that you have to lead others. Merry Christmas from our TeamTRI family to yours!



2 People to Recognize This Holiday Season #12DaysOfLeadership

Welcome to TeamTRI’s 12 Days of Leadership! From now until Christmas we’ll be celebrating the holiday season by sharing 12 days of powerful leadership ideas, resources and content. We hope these articles get you in the holiday spirit and ready to go lead the world to greatness! Today’s article is by Curtis Haley (@TeamTRI_Curtis)

As we enter the final two days of the #12DaysOfLeadership, I want to share this video that we’ve been using in session we’ve called “10 Leader Hacks to Make the Ordinary Extraordinary”. Last week, Chris Tuason showed you nine of the 10, but he left one off the list that’s my favorite: Show gratitude to those who mean the most to you.

This sounds like less of a “leader hack” and more of a component of an after-school special, but there’s science backing us up on this one which indicates that showing gratitude for the people in your life not only increases their happiness, it also increases yours. Want to see proof? Check out this video from our friends at Soul Pancake (and get ready to grab the tissues):

So for this, our second-to-last day of leadership, here is our challenge for you: Take this Christmas season as an opportunity to tell two people in your life just why they’re special and important to you. You can do it in person around the dinner table, or send an email to someone far away, and though it may feel a little awkward at first, the impact it will have in both of your lives is incredible.

We talk a lot about leadership here at TeamTRI, and while this certainly demonstrates leadership, more importantly it demonstrates good humanity which demonstrably makes the world a better place…ultimately what leadership is all about.

So go forth and recognize your two people, and if you want to share what happened, feel free to tweet us @TeamTRI about the results and we’ll share the best ones with the world.

Now go forth and create happiness!

3 Steps to Effective Goal Setting In 2015 (In French, or Any Language!) #12DaysOfLeadership

Welcome to TeamTRI’s 12 Days of Leadership! From now until Christmas we’ll be celebrating the holiday season by sharing 12 days of powerful leadership ideas, resources and content. We hope these articles get you in the holiday spirit and ready to go lead the world to greatness! Today’s article is by Hayley Henderson (@TeamTRI_Hayley)

You know you do it every year around this time. You set your New Year’s Resolutions that you just KNOW you’re going to stick by this year. You can think of these resolutions as your goals for the New Year, which is helpful. Goals are important for all of us to have because they hold us accountable for actions and direct our energies in a positive direction.

Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision into reality. The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. You’ll also quickly spot the distractions that can so easily lead you astray. Before you set goals, there are three simple steps to take to ensure that you stay on the right track in setting attainable goals.

Step One:  Decide What You Want

This sounds like such a simple step, but it’s crucial that you’re intentional about making this your starting point. You first have to decide what YOU want. This does not mean what the world wants you to do, what your friends think you should do, this is the goal that YOU want to do for yourself.

You are not being selfish during this step. This will allow you to fully evaluate the personal traits or habits that you want to improve. Goals reflect something we want to happen both big and small. You can have a goal to get a graduate degree or a goal to sleep in more. The size of the goal determines the amount of effort that you will be putting forth to accomplish it.

Step Two: Write the Goal Down and Make It Real in your Head

This year, I had major personal goals that I wanted to set for my life, and to meet these goals, I did something I have never done before. Instead of saying what I wanted to achieve, I actually wrote out each goal one by one. Underneath each goal I listed the items I would need to make the goal happen, including resources that are around me that I knew could help hold me accountable.

There is something powerful about writing out what you want, getting your dream out of your head and onto a piece of paper. It then seems more realizable and achievable. It’s a strong affirmation of what you are working towards rather than having a vague, wispy notion floating around in your head. So grab a pen and paper, and go ahead and test it out. Write down five goals that you want to achieve in 2015.

Step Three: Set a Deadline for Action

Most people fail to achieve their dreams because they did not include a deadline with their goal. Deadlines move us to action. When we fail to include a deadline for our goal, when we commit to achieving it “as soon as possible,” the goal winds up in our “as soon as possible” pile of things that we will will do another day (maybe never).

Why? Because we all have too much to do and not enough time to get it all done. The items that have deadlines for completion tend to bubble up in priority and importance so that we take action and achieve them. Once you write your goals out, decide the timetable that you will give yourself to make it happen.

You Can Do This!

Goals are exciting when you set steps to make them become reality. The moment you reach a goal, know that you can continue to your ultimate dream. C.S. Lewis was right when he declared: “You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.”

Those are our three steps for setting powerful, actionable goals this year! What’s your goal for 2015? Write it down by tweeting it @TeamTRI and we’ll share the best ones!

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4 Stages of Team Development to Help Your Team Find Its Calling #12DaysOfLeadership

Welcome to TeamTRI’s 12 Days of Leadership! From now until Christmas we’ll be celebrating the holiday season by sharing 12 days of powerful leadership ideas, resources and content. We hope these articles get you in the holiday spirit and ready to go lead the world to greatness! Today’s article is by Curtis Haley (@TeamTRI_Curtis)

If there’s one thing that high school teaches all of us, it’s that the two most dreaded words in the history of education are “group project”. We all know the terrors that come after: one person (probably you) will nearly kill themselves getting everyone to work together, one person will be happy to help if you can ever track her down, and one person won’t ever show up until it’s time to put their name on the paper to get the shared grade. Ultimately the most valuable lesson many of us take out of the experience is “Don’t ever work with other people on projects if you can help it”.

But of course that’s an unrealistic expectation – our whole lives are filled with opportunities to work on teams, from projects in the workplace to deciding with your spouse how to raise a child. Many of the challenges with team projects arise from a basic misunderstanding of the team development process, including the best way to deal with the inevitable challenges which it presents. Once you anticipate these challenges and the best way to address them, you can more quickly dispose with the terrors of working on a team and begin harnessing the combined energies and efforts of your teammate.

Fear not, for we have the secret framework to help you navigate these teamwork potholes: the Four Stages of Team Development! And by “secret”, I mean that it was first developed by Bruce Tuckman over 50 years ago and widely published since then, but here’s our spin on his findings:

Stage One: Forming!

Let’s take it back to the first day of school. You remember how scared you were walking into the class with a bunch of unfamiliar faces? You were probably nervous to speak to anyone else, or unsure if everyone would come to like you. That’s the most common feature of the Forming phase: each individual is nervous about being accepted by everyone else, and will do their best to avoid conflict with other team members (usually by keeping quiet about their true feelings and expectations).

At this stage, not much gets done – instead, the emphasis should be on members getting to know each other better and learning more about their new teammates. Skipping this step too quickly could result in you looking around at your teammates one day and realizing they’re a bunch of strangers!

Stage Two: Storming!

 A lot of team members natural want to avoid this stage because it sounds scary. Storms are bad, right? When it stormed when you were a little kid, you grabbed your favorite stuffed animal and hid under the covers until your mom told you it was safe to come out (I mean, that’s what I did – I’m sure that was common to everyone, right?).

Storming in team development is not only a natural part of the process, but a necessary one. In this stage, people begin feeling more comfortable with the group, and their true colors (both beautiful and ugly) begin to come out. As you might imagine, this new honesty can bring about hurt feelings and a lot of conflict – in fact, some teams never make it out of the storming phase intact!

How can you avoid this grisly fate? First, embrace that the challenges you’re having now will make your team stronger by allowing roles and norms to become more developed. Second, make sure each team member feels free to share their opinions, and that the views are heard by others (it also helps to encourage team members to not attach others when sharing these views). Finally, emphasize to everyone on the team that the most important goal is not that everyone becomes best friends, but that the task at hand gets accomplished. Then grab your umbrella, listen up, and wait for the storm to pass so real work can get done!

Stage Three: Norming!

At this stage, the storms have begun to recede, and team members are confident in their own role in the process, as well as the reliability and expectations of their team members. To bring things back to our school project analogy, in this step, you now understand that you’re the strongest writer, that one of your teammates will spearhead taking care of the research, and that your third teammate may not be the best writer, but they can develop graphs and illustrations like nobody’s business. You finally have a working writing machine!

The most important thing to remember during the “norming” phase is that conflicts won’t (and shouldn’t) totally disappear, but that everyone’s opinions and feelings should continue to be incorporated into the successful teamwork machine you’ve developed.

Stage Four: Performing!

Not every team will survive the first three stages to reach the promised land of Performing. Only the most high-functioning teams will emerge from their Norming cocoon and turn into a beautiful Performing butterfly (that’s an incredible mental image if you really stop to think about it). At this point, the team is able to work without major conflicts or anyone telling them what to do. Dissent may still happen, but there’s an existing process in place to account for the disagreements – in other words, there may still be potholes and speedbumps on the road, but your fully functioning team vehicle is able to drive over them with ease.

Of course, there’s one small bit of bad news: Your team may not stay at the Performing stage forever. Sometimes the team will reach the natural end of its time together and become disbanded. Sometimes you’ll get a change in leadership or a new team member who will have to be integrated, throwing things back into the Storming and Norming phase. These are all natural parts of the team development process, and like the rest of the stages we’ve listed here, the best thing to do if you encounter them is listen to the needs of your teammates and keep your attention on the task at hand.

Thanks for checking out the Four Stages of Team Development. Do you have questions about how to move forward with your own team process? Leave a comment below or tweet us @TeamTRI!

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5 Golden Practices of Exemplary Leadership #12DaysOfLeadership

Welcome to TeamTRI’s 12 Days of Leadership! From now until Christmas we’ll be celebrating the holiday season by sharing 12 days of powerful leadership ideas, resources and content. We hope these articles get you in the holiday spirit and ready to go lead the world to greatness! Today’s article is by Kayla Loomis (@TeamTRI_Kayla).

Are you looking for a way to enhance your leadership skills in the upcoming year? Check out these Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership and you’ll be well on your way to being the best leader that you can be this year! These five practices were developed after years of researching effective leadership by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner and are sure to help you perform your personal best.

1. Model the Way
One of the greatest ways to lead is to lead by example. Think about how you act as a leader in your community. Do you dress professionally and appropriately at all times? Act respectful and kind to others? Help those who need it? Think about the impact that you have on others because as a leader, people are looking up to you at all times, whether you realize it or not.

2. Inspire a Shared Vision
Do you often have great ideas that you are passionate about that you know will make a difference? How do you get the people that you lead to have that same vision? Commanding people to work towards your vision isn’t likely to be successful, you have to inspire others to share the vision that you have! You can do this by learning about your peers and what speaks to them and their interests, by being enthusiastic and positive about your idea, and by showing how your vision works to benefit the entire group.

3. Challenge the Process
Effective leaders push ideas and projects forward in the face of adversity, whether that’s in the form of outside circumstances or internal inefficiencies. Maybe you’re doing something that has never been done before – think about how you will inspire your peers towards the goal with passion and enthusiasm, especially when others think that there will be too many challenges to face to achieve the goal.

4. Enable Others to Act
You can’t expect yourself to do everything on your own, so how will you engage the people you work with to accomplish the goals of the team? There are many ways that you can Enable Others to Act: give others the resources and training needed to accomplish the task, listen to other’s ideas, show interest in what they have to say, and offer help when you can. Show everyone that you genuinely care about them and their goals, and encourage them throughout the process of achieving them.

5. Encourage the Heart
Sometimes the process of reaching a team’s goal can be long and challenging. Everyone needs encouragement at some point and to know that their contributions are valued. Make sure to praise exemplary work when you see it, and take time to get to know the people that you are working with. A little praise during a tough time can go a long way toward accomplishing your goal!

Those are the five practices as outlined by Kouzes and Posner. Which one speaks to you the most? Let us know in a comment below, or tweet us @TeamTRI to continue the conversation! The #12DaysOfLeadership series will continue tomorrow and all the way through Christmas!

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