Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast: Strengthening a Struggling Team


Sign up to watch this content for free.

Sign up

Thank you for joining the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast! There’s nothing like being on an amazing, focused and passionate team. There’s no limit to what can be accomplished when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit. Unfortunately, it’s way more common to be on a Struggling Team.

A struggling team lacks vision. Its team members are down on themselves. Its culture might be toxic. Its management wants compliance, not creativity. Risks are discouraged, and mistakes are acceptable. Problems on a struggling team go unaddressed, and it can feel like there’s never a team win—it’s every man for himself.

A struggling team...

  • Is devoid of vision
  • Deflects responsibility
  • Resists accountability
  • Avoids conflict
  • Withholds trust

If this describes your team, it might be time to break the cycle. A destructive cycle starts when wrong actions aren’t addressed, which leads to casting blame, which leads to negative assumptions about each other, which ultimately leads to more wrong actions. A strong team, on the other hand, breaks the cycle. They may start with wrong actions, too, but instead of doing nothing, they have a productive conversation, accept responsibility, create positive assumptions about each other, and ultimately turn a wrong action into a productive one. Here's how:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Confront the root issue. When you find the issue, face it head-on. You can’t correct what you don’t confront. Just remember, you shouldn’t attack people, you should address behavior.

A healthy team’s qualities are the exact opposite of a struggling team’s. A healthy team:

  • Has clear vision and a defined strategy
  • Accepts responsibility
  • Has consistent accountability
  • Embraces conflict
  • Extends trust

Remember, you don’t have to know it all to be a great leader! Be yourself. People would rather follow a leader who is always real than one who is always right.

Have a question for Craig? Email him at leadership@life.church.


Here's an exercise you can do to grow as a leader—ask yourself and your team these questions:

  • On a scale of 1-10, how healthy and strong is your team and why? Now ask your team and let them respond anonymously.
  • What quality is the weakest on your team? Is it clear vision, embracing conflict, accepting responsibility, consistent accountability, or extending trust?
  • Once you have named a symptom, what is the root cause of the problem? What will you do to address it?


Because I’m not a confrontational person, I’m having to battle my desire to not hurt anyone’s feelings and yet do what’s best for the organization. I realize that I’m being stretched and growing in this role, but it’s hard for me to “practice or grow” in my leadership on real people. What are some steps you would suggest that I can take to overcome that struggle?

That’s a very common struggle, because very few leaders are naturally confrontational. Confrontation gets a bad rap sometimes. It sounds harsh. Instead, let’s reframe it as “coaching” or “telling the truth.” Telling the truth is one of the most loving things you can do, so when you confront someone with the right heart, it’s loving. Like anything, you’ll need to practice to become more comfortable telling the truth in a loving way. Find someone and practice!

What advice would you give someone taking her first leadership role? – Cindy

Three things:

  • Be a student. An ability to learn is one of the most important qualities a leader can have. Leaders must be learners.
  • Love those you lead. You don’t need a title, experience or a degree to lead. You just need to care. People will follow a leader with a heart faster than a leader with a title.
  • Lead by example. Be the kind of leader that you would follow!

Have a question for Craig? Email him at leadership@life.church.


Leave a review: www.go2.lc/leadershippodcastitunes

Catalyst One Day: www.catalystconference.com/oneday

Watch Life.Church messages: www.life.church/watch

More from Craig: www.craiggroeschelbooks.com

Craig Groeschel, Divine Direction: 7 Decisions That Will Change Your Life

Free church resources & tools: www.life.church/churches


Ask questions: leadership@life.church

Facebook: www.facebook.com/craiggroeschel

Twitter: @craiggroeschel

Instagram: @craiggroeschel

Snapchat: @craiggroeschel

Periscope: @craiggroeschel