What Do I Do With My Struggling Team? - Finds.Life.Church

In this month’s podcast, I’m discussing what it takes to strengthen a struggling team. One of the first things that might come to mind when you think of a team might be your coworkers or the people you employ, but a team is simply this: a group of people working together toward a common goal. So, that could mean you and your spouse, your family, your LifeGroup, your sports team, the folks you serve with at church … I could keep going, but I think you get the picture!

If you’ve ever been on a struggling team, you know it’s no fun. Team members are often discouraged. It can seem like it’s every man for himself. Here are five hallmarks I’ve found that point to a struggling team:

• Devoid of vision

• Deflects responsibility

• Resists accountability

• Avoids conflict

• Withholds trust

Struggling teams often see a destructive cycle that looks like this: A wrong action happens, but it goes unaddressed. Team members start casting blame, which leads to negative assumptions about other team members. These negative assumptions make for a pileup of even more wrong actions.

So how do we move from a team without vision, accountability, and trust to a team that’s thriving and embracing those things? Let’s take it step by step.

  1. Instead of assigning blame, accept responsibility. Blame focuses on the past instead of the future. It’s judgmental. Responsibility is about change. Accept responsibility and tell the truth.
  2. Diagnose the root of the dysfunction. You can’t change what you don’t define. Many leaders focus on the symptoms—wise leaders identify the root cause. Fix the problem, and the symptoms will fade away.
  3. Confront the root issue. When you find the issue, face it head-on. You can’t correct what you don’t confront. Remember, you shouldn’t attack people—you should address behavior.

But the reality is, even on a successful team, wrong actions will still occur. But by having productive conversations instead of ignoring issues, you’ll start a new cycle. A successful cycle. Those conversations will help team members accept responsibility instead of assigning blame. That builds trust instead of creating negative assumptions. And ultimately, a higher degree of trust among your team will lead to more productive actions.


Vision, responsibility, accountability, conflict, and trust are all crucial elements to a team’s success. There’s no limit to what can be accomplished when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit. No matter what role you have on a team, you can take the initiative to help your team move from a struggling one to a successful one.

If you’re looking for even more ways to grow your leadership capacity, subscribe to the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast on iTunes or YouTube. You can sign up for email reminders when a new episode is available every month.