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What’s More Important – Team or Mission?

What’s More Important – Team or Mission?

By Flip Flippen

9 years ago




If you would prefer to read this content instead of watching the video, the transcript is available below.

As a leader, you place a high value on both your team and your mission, but can you tell me which is more important?

Hi there, leaders! My name is General Robert VanAntwerp, a retired three-star general from the U.S. Army. Today, I want to share with you a talk by our chairman, Flip Flippen. Flip is a New York Times best-selling author of The Flip Side, and an Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award winner. In this talk, he shares – what’s more important: team or mission?

Enjoy this talk, and I’ll be back with you in a few minutes.

We’ve been thinking a whole lot lately about team and mission because I’m a big ‘team’ guy. I love my team! We’re close, we’ve got a great group, and we’re spread out all over creation. We love getting together, we have a blast when we do, and we love working together. We integrate well and we’re constantly adding new guys to the team, so I have to just tell you, I love my team! I really do.

But I have a question for you, “What’s more important – the team or the mission?” What would you say?

So, I posed that question recently to a group of executives. They all replied quickly, saying, “Oh, it’s the team.”

Ironically, there was a gentleman in that group (a two-star general), and I looked at him and asked, “What do you think: team or mission?” He said, “I’m not sure,” and as he reflected, he continued, “I’m going to go with ‘team’.” I said, “Really? How many times have you ordered members of your team on a mission that cost them their life?” And of course, it was a very sobering moment, as you can imagine. But in that sobering moment, there was a realization.

You see, if you exist for the purpose of your team…well, I’m from East Texas, and that’s kind of like a family reunion. It’s just a bunch of good people getting together and having a good time. There’s no mission. There’s no objective. You’re not trying to accomplish anything. There’s a huge difference in these two concepts.

My team exists for one purpose. It’s not so we can get together and have fun and talk about great stories and that sort of thing. We get together, we come together, we exist, for one sole purpose, and that is to execute a mission!

Now you see, that puts us in a bit of a quandary, doesn’t it? Because now the question is, “What do I do with that?” If that is the reality, what are my actionable items?

Here are your takeaways when you think about, “What’s more important – your team or your mission?”

First, you’ve got to look at your team. Stop and think. Are all the people that are there…are they on the team because they really buy into this mission? Are they the right fit for this mission? Do you have the right people or has your mission changed? Maybe they bought into another one, but they’ve not bought into this one. So, you’ve got to look at your team first and make an assessment.

Now, as it relates to us (the senior executives), there are three things we’ve really got to bring to the table that have a huge impact on this. First, have we made a compelling mission statement? I’m not talking about something hanging on the wall someplace, but something that you internally are so passionate about that you get up early, you skip to work if you will, and you stay up late at night to see accomplished? Do you share that compelling mission in a way that grabs them and captures them? So the first thing is, is that mission clear? Is it compelling?

The second one is, is it inspirational? Do you make that mission inspirational? You can stop and say, “Well, I’m not inspirational.” Well, guess what? You’ve got to be! I don’t care if you are or you aren’t. You have to be…it is not optional! You have to be inspirational. You inspire your team to execute that mission.

The last part that is so important is to provide the resources so they can execute the mission that you have now inspired them to accomplish. That’s our job. Part of that means you bring the right team to the table for the mission. The team exists for one purpose, and that is to execute a compelling mission.

I hope you have fun with that, because if the mission is worthwhile, you’ll do it!

Well, I hope you enjoyed hearing Flip’s talk on, “What’s More Important – Team or Mission?”

If you found this talk helpful, please do us a favor and click the “Like” button to share with your friends and also scroll down to the bottom of this post, and let us know your thoughts. So let’s continue the conversation below.

We’d love to hear from you.

Take care, and I’ll see you soon!





Flip Flippen

Whether working with Olympic athletes, professional money managers, or military leaders, Flip Flippen’s mission is the same: “To build relationships and processes that bring out the best in people.” He has applied this goal with hundreds of thousands of individuals, providing executive development and organizational consulting in four sectors: education, corporate, sports, and government. With an emphasis on changing behaviors and attitudes that stand in the way of success, he has helped organizations – from small rural school districts to Fortune 500 companies – achieve dramatic improvement in performance, leadership, trust, and productivity. Flip is the founder and president of the Flippen Group, started in 1990, voted the number two company to work for in Texas by Texas Monthly magazine. Today, the Flippen Group is one of the largest educator training companies and one of the fastest-growing leadership development organizations in North America. Their breakthrough educational processes and curricula are in use at thousands of school districts and campuses nationwide.

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