Put some SOUL into your team

Selfishness –

“Putting individual needs aside for the good of the team. This encompasses sacrifice, humility and team spirit.”

Tony Dungy

Selfishness is critical to team spirit. It takes humility and seeing the big picture. Like the saying goes, “there is no I in team” and another good one says, “players ‭win games, teams win championships”.

“For you, my brothers, were called to freedom; only do not let your freedom become an opportunity for the sinful nature (worldliness, selfishness), but through love serve and seek the best for one another.”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:13‬ ‭AMP‬‬


We need to take ownership as good stewards of our best opportunities and responsibilities as God makes available and puts in our path.

I suggest four words to consider when evaluating your own performance: How present, positive, proactive, and prepared are you? High-performing teams have members who strive to own their roles and give their best in these four areas.

Tony Dungy

Again, the 4 great words to evaluating performance are:

1. Present

Being present is being focused with another strong P word; purpose. It is being clear on one’s role and being available.

2. Positive

A positive person is solution minded who sees an opportunity to win and/or improve in most everything.

3. Proactive

Proactive people run towards their goals and are internally motivated. They are eager to contribute and make an impact.

4. Prepared

Speaking of P’s, prepared people practice and know ‘Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance (the 5 P’s)’. They are willing to perfect their practice than get pummeled in prime time.

“So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭14:12‬ ‭AMP‬‬


As Christ followers, we need to understand and rally around our teams’ missions, philosophies, and cultures through open communication and positive conflict resolution.

Christians are united in Jesus, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have differences. Teams are generally made up of people with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and preferences. God knows our distinctiveness can create challenges, which is why Scripture urges us on toward unity. Unity is essential for binding team members together and focusing them on achieving the team’s goals rather than wasting time and energy on divisiveness.

Have you ever tried to push through a door that was designed to be pulled open? No matter how hard you push, you won’t get through it. Likewise, I’ve never seen a successful team whose members pursue different objectives or who rebel against the culture. In fact, a team that isn’t unified and headed in the same direction isn’t much of a team at all. It’s simply a collection of individuals.

It’s also important to remember the Bible points out that asking for and extending forgiveness is essential when working toward unity.

Unity amid diversity—a goal teams must strive for—is a key attribute of effective teams.

Tony Dungy

“But I urge you, believers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in full agreement in what you say, and that there be no divisions or factions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your way of thinking and in your judgment [about matters of the faith].”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:10‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Note the above passage was directed toward Christians aka ‘believers’ yet the point remains, team need to be unified in purpose.

“bearing graciously with one another, and willingly forgiving each other if one has a cause for complaint against another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive.”

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭AMP‬‬

This is especially true when someone makes a mistake with the right motivation and/or they sincerely apologize.

“If a kingdom is divided against itself, it cannot stand.

If a house is divided against itself, it cannot stand.”

Mark 3:24-25

Larger Purpose

Larger purpose imbues meaning into everything we do. In that way, it’s primus inter pares—first among equals. The larger purpose of a team must be something that will capture the imagination of its members no matter their roles or positions within the organization; it must be something they can rally around. At the same time, it must not merely be a lofty idea; instead, it should lead to tangible acts and relationships that create opportunities and offer hope to others.

How does a team determine its larger purpose? That answer is up to your team. Think long term. Ask yourself what kind of legacy you want to leave and how you can impact others’ lives—maybe even for eternity. Then look for ways in which your larger purpose can impact the work you do and the way you do it. Even if it’s not perfect at first blush, push ahead. I guarantee taking the time to uncover and refine your larger purpose—either for yourself or your team—will be well worth the effort.”

Tony Dungy

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run [their very best to win], but only one receives the prize?

Run [your race] in such a way that you may seize the prize and make it yours!

Now every athlete who [goes into training and] competes in the games is disciplined and exercises self-control in all things.

They do it to win a crown that withers, but we [do it to receive] an imperishable [crown that cannot wither].”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭9:24-25‬ ‭AMP‬‬

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