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The last 3 weeks have been pretty intense on my body but incredibly life giving for my soul. I’ve taken 9 flights, over 35,000 air miles, across 7 timezone changes. I’ve visited 5 major cities (Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Auckland & Singapore). Shared the speaking at 4 Leadership Masterclasses on Communication; Preached at 2 churches, met with hundreds of leaders; stroked a kangaroo, taken a private super yacht around Sydney harbour and watched this beautiful (no filter) sunset over a tiny island just off New Zealand.

During this incredible journey I’ve discovered 3 things…

1. Jesus was right – don’t do ministry on your own.

Its the team that have made this trip. They have helped me create memories I’ll never forget. Their generosity and kindness along with their sense of fun and responsibility are what’s helped me beat the near constant jet lag.

2,000 years ago when Jesus sent his team of disciples out on ministry trips he made sure they didn’t go alone. (Mark 6: 7). He knew the importance of team in getting the mission done.

On this trip I’ve learnt from Joel Thomas, my fellow presenter, how to show value to desperate leaders and give them your time even when your jet lag is getting the better of you; I’ve learnt from Julian Krevere how dreaming really big dreams for the kingdom is worth it every time; I’ve learnt to listen and ask better questions from my bestie Jason Perkins; And I’ve learnt that having fun on the journey is a total non negotiable from my new (slightly crazy) friend Adam Thomas.

As we flew red eye flights between cities, sat in airport lounges, travelled on boats, snuggled into the back seats of cars with our luggage round our ears and led workshops for hungry learners, this amazing team has taught me so much about the value of building trust in leadership teams.

How are you doing at building a culture of trust with your team? Or are you killing your team by the things you say and do?

My good friend Gavin Adams wrote a list of the ten foolproof ways you can kill trust with your team…

  1. Meet on when their is a crisis

  2. Allow strong personalities to dominate

  3. Allow team decisions to be undermined by private off line meetings

  4. Have your mind made up before you get team input

  5. Remain inflexible in the face of new information

  6. Cut off the debate

  7. Don’t hold team members for they assignments

  8. Ignore the intangibles

  9. Expect more of the team than you expect of yourself

  10. Take individual credit for the accomplishments of the team.

As you look at this list, which team-killing behaviour creates your greatest struggle?

2. Asking great questions builds incredible community.

I’ve got a question for you…

Q: Can you have a genuine best friend who lives 10,000 miles away, in a different time zone?

A: Absolutely – yes!

Jason Perkins is proof of that to me. Our bromance proves that distance doesn’t dictate how close you can walk through life with someone. We’ve cried and laughed together for the past 5 years. We’ve stepped into the mess of each others lives and at times, stood in the gap for each other.

One night on this tour I was able to sit with him & his amazing family and share pizza on the beach at sunset.

With the pizza eaten a few rounds of corn hole played, Jason asked 3 questions of everyone.

As we took it in turns to answer our night of fun soon turned into a precious community moment that I’ll never forget.

  1. What do you wish for most right now? (Our hopes)

  2. What do you notice and what do you prefer about us? (Complaints & possible solutions)

  3. What are you grateful for right now? (Appreciations)

I never seen a group of people go so deep, be so honest and leave feeling so committed to each other.

Try asking these questions over your next family meal or at your next team meeting.

Trust me. You’ll be glad you did.

3. Don’t let your identity dictate your assignment.

I sat in a bar in Sydney and marvelled as Joel Thomas, my speaking buddy on this tour, turned a social conversation with a young leader into a golden teaching moment. (Joel is the Lead Pastor of Buckhead Church, one of North Point’s Atlanta area churches.) He grabbed a spare napkin from a neighbouring table, borrowed a pen from a waiter and started to draw these three circles.

What he drew was such a clarifying thought that I convinced him to start his masterclass session the following day with the same illustration.

“We are all made up of three parts. There is who you are, what you do & why you do what you do.”

He looked up from the napkin and told this young leader, “Your identity should never dictate your assignment.” Joel continued, “When WHO you are (your identity) overlaps with WHY you do what you do (your purpose) that’s when you find CLARITY about where you should best place your energy.”

He went on to talk about finding that elusive leadership feeling of SATISFACTION. He said, “Genuine fulfilment & satisfaction comes when your WHY (your purpose) overlaps with your WHAT (your assignment.)

But he clarified that if you let your identity get wrapped up in WHAT you do, that’s the road to burnout and frustration.

Have you clarified your identity, your purpose and your assignment? Do they overlap in all the right places?

Check out this short clip of Joel explaining this concept to leaders in Perth. –

Duncan Banks –

Director of the Further Faster Network

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