Every author possesses truths or life-lessons that he or she wants to communicate. These often form the framework for stories. Here are some of my life lessons that have shaped my writing and contributions:
Relationship and Function: The Core Team in Action
If you are part of work team or any organizational enterprise, you see the results almost immediately if Relationships and Functions cooperate…and they should.
Let’s define these terms. Why? Because these definitions set the stage for understanding not only what relationships are and how they affect people’s contributions (functions) to an enterprise or team, they also provide a framework for improvement and growth of individuals on a team, and the entire team itself.
We define a Relationship as “the decision I make about your success.” This relationship is dependent on the leader making choices to help his or her followers win. While one person cannot own the success of another, one person, who is often a leader, can help set the stage of success for the follower. These choices are the backbone and framework for Functions…actions and contributions. Relationships always precede and give birth to function. It’s never the other way around when relationships and functions are aligned correctly.
A team rightly constructed in this way follows this structure (below), both in the spelling order of Core Team and chronologically. Here is an acronym that helps explain this. This summary is found in my newest book, Faith Matters (Chapter 2) (please see: www.FaithMattersToYou.com). This book in itself is a summary from the truths presented in this Leadership and Business Training Development Trilogy: Leadership Is, Industrial Strength Solutions, and integrated together in Core Teams Work Their Principles and Practices. Please see this website:
Look at and consider what we call a Core Team. More than just a term, it is a life-changing and life-giving structure when applied holistically. I invite and encourage your implementation of this concept.
The Core Team: A Functioning Workable Solution (Table) from
Industrial Strength Solutions:
O: Obedience to Shared Values
R: Right Relationships
E: Essentials of Composite Nature
When we break down this Functioning Workable Solution even further, we discover these truths:
C: Consistency: faithful application of principles and practices
O: Obedience to Shared Values upon which you and your team agree
R: Right Relationships: defined as the appropriate and valued-driven decisions or choices about other people’s success
E: Example…the question never is do we have an example; it’s always what kind of example do we have?
T: Trust: There are basically four kinds of trust.
- The first is unearned, the way that every new relationship begins. Trust is granted not based on experience yet.
- The second is earned, the one with which we are most familiar…it’s trust proven over time because consistency of promised fulfillment is or has been present.
- The third is violated trust, where a trust bond has been broken because appropriate fulfillment has not occurred, or betrayal has taken place.
- The fourth kind is validated trust…the question is how to re-validate trust, if trust has been violated. In our view there’s only one way: grant something that has not been earned through forgiveness.
E: Essentials of Composite Nature: generally everyone possesses three that make an individual who he or she is. These are:
- Experience—experiences are unique to every individual; no one has the exact experiences shared by someone else
- Education—we should never stop learning: education is available to all
- Environment—we choose our environments every day…these choices impact our contributions constantly
A: Accountability: closely related to Consistency, Accountability in action means, “You can count on me.”
M: Method: what you and I do (action) and how we do it, our Function.
Notice that the first letters in chronological order, C, O, R, E, T, E, and A are all relational concepts and are presented as foundational to a Core Team’s very nature and existence. These relational concepts in practical application give birth to Method, or Function.
So let’s apply these truths:
The Core Team helps anyone define what the team truly desires and the reasons they desire it.
Additionally, you are asked to personally consider four life-changing questions.
The Four Questions from Leadership Is… are uniquely tied to Values, Vision, Mission, and Message, from the same book. These are primary considerations for any individual or team, leader or follower.
Here are Values, Vision, Mission, and Message, defined:
- Values constitute the core principles upon which agreement exists between leader and follower and are made up of intangibles that never change.
- Vision describes an overall purpose, the reasons why actions are considered, and the hopes for what the future can be in goal accomplishment. Through vision, cause and motive give meaning to activity.
- Mission is made up of the tasks to complete, the methods used to achieve their goals, the evaluations that show success or failure, and the tangible rewards to be received when the mission is accomplished.
- Message represents life-lessons learned through the fulfillment of the mission that impact people with truth. Message is the acquired knowledge that is applied with wisdom.
And here are The Four Questions:
- Who are you at your core?
This is a question of values. This question seeks to know the heart-core of the individual, what makes them tick, what are their principled, unchangeable, bedrock beliefs upon which their entire world-view and actions are based. These values will likely include, but not be limited to, intangibles of integrity, trust, commitment, faithfulness, respect, cooperation, and love.
- What are you called to accomplish?
This is a question of vision. Vision gives purpose. Where this question is answered with a list of tangibles, a person is veering off course. Accomplishments are heart-related when they seek to build up other people and accomplish goals through investment. Vision is best described in intangibles. When someone answering refers to benefits seen in values as opposed to benefits seen in valuables, the question and answer are hitting home.
- What do you want?
This is a question of mission. Mission is composed of actions to fulfill a goal. Accomplishment is seen in the effects, both materially and within a frame of mind. What anyone who desires personal growth wants should be in direct correlation to their answers to the first two questions. Mission will include hard work and the satisfaction coming from completing a job well. Happiness should be evidenced in tangible rewards—the products of achievement—along with intangible inner repose—an assurance of attainment, a healthy sense of pride in the fulfillment of purpose.
- Whom will you impact?
This is a question of message. Lessons learned are worth little until they become operative in real life. People long for and appreciate authenticity when actions verify words. People who are impacted for good because of a follower’s or leader’s life model can find themselves in a state of receptivity for learning what, how, and why something or someone worked. Principled truth that invades and transforms life makes people take notice, and for those who desire more than mediocrity, it creates hunger for more of whatever “that” is and wherever “it” came from. Message is seen through measures and methods. Message is enfolded into desires, decisions, and deeds. The life-lessons learned and taught to those who observe and want to receive them, become the message.
What do we do with this information? Here’s an answer: Core Team, Values, Vision, Mission, and Message, and their related Four Questions as standards of measurement if you agree. Use them as tools of self-discovery and improvement.
Remember, if you are an author, or aspire to be one, ask yourself: “What essential truths do I wish to communicate?” These are the main ideas that give birth to stories. I encourage you to grow and list your life lessons as you write.