The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization

by Jon R. Katzenbach, Douglas K. Smith. HarperCollins, 1999.

Albeit a secular source, this book is cross-referenced many times in church-oriented sources. The introduction summarizes what the authors have learned regarding teams and leaders. They post what they call “commonsense” and “uncommonsense” findings about team performance. The first third of the source examines the need for teams and the resistance to teams. Authors define a team as “a collection of people with complementary skills who are equally committed to a common purpose, goal, and working approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.” (p. 92) An entire chapter is devoted to models of high performance teams. The dynamics of team development are illustrated through steps of increased individual and team performance. The three marks of good team leadership—attitude, behavior, and effectiveness—are explored. The final third of the book deals with exploiting the potential of performance, centering on the importance of team performance modeling among top management. This source would be primarily helpful to pastoral leaders and laypersons responsible for leading teams. Even though corporate examples proliferate through the book, the dynamics of team performance still apply in a church setting.