3 Team Building Questions With Tim Sanders

Tim Sanders

Tim Sanders is an author and speaker on the topics of innovation and change, specifically regarding teams. His book, Love Is The Killer App, really had an impact on me when it first came out. Just this week he released Dealstorming, which has some team building lessons I think every leader should pay attention to. 

Here are three questions and answers from Tim Sanders about team building that I hope encourage you to lead smarter. 

1. Where did you get the name for your book Dealstorming?

Over the course of my career, I’ve developed this process for putting a team together around a challenge and leading that team to work together honestly and effectively. I call it dealstorming.

Dealstorming is all about building a team of everyone that has a stake in the outcome or expertise about your problem. The paradigm of deal storming is that every solution you come up with is a hundred little problems solved.

For pastors, it’s helpful because you will face revenue or business-oriented challenges, and as you learn to overcome them more quickly, you’ll be able to scale your ministry.

Steven Furtick and his team used dealstorming when they planted Elevation Church in Charlotte. They needed a place for the church, so they dealstormed their way into a shopping center that used to be a furniture store. He was able to build a large facility on the cheap by dealstorming together a value proposition and plan. They’ve used this process to be able to continue to grow the church.

2. In chapter 2, you talk about a member of a dealstorm being a “tenacious problem solver.”

The first thing I look for is a person who can give you an example of how they approached a challenge in their previous job. Generally, they’ll either describe bulldozing, escalation, or web spinning.

Bulldozing is where you applied a lot of force with a lot of repetition and individually made it happen. With bulldozers, listen for sentences like, “I demanded they did it, and they did it,” or, “I worked the midnight oil until I got it done.” This is dangerous because it’s an individual achievement mindset. They might be a problem solver, but they are a problem solver by force not finesse.

Escalation is when they went and found more powerful people than themself. Listen for sentences like, “I kicked this upstairs to someone more powerful than me.” These are the people that are looking for the magic bullet – the one thing that will solve the problem for them.

What I really look for is the person that spins up a web – that says, “The last time I faced a challenge, I went and found people that knew something about the challenge, convinced them to team up with me, we had a series of meetings, and we worked together to find a solution.” You’ll notice that they defer a lot of the glory and credit to the other team members. That is the mindset that you’re looking for.

The tenacious problem is ultimately a community builder.

3. When leaders are interviewing for their own team, how can they pick out tenacious problem solvers?

In the interview, ask someone the last time they volunteered to help with someone’s project that was in trouble. Those that do favors long before it’s time to give back do really well when it’s time to collaborate.

A team is a group of a diverse perspectives that come together around a shared objective – it’s not a factory line.

Check out Tim's new book on Amazon here.

Tim StevensComment