Welcome to the 
Association of UMCRM

Teams That Work: Community Conversation Notes from 1/17/22

19 Jan 2022 9:03 PM | Jen Burch (Administrator)

Monday’s Community Conversation was all about creating staff teams that work together in a way that brings fulfillment and productivity to each team member and creates "predictable success" for the team as a whole. Ryan Clements of Next Gen Ministries in the Greater New Jersey Conference kicked off the discussion by presenting the work of author Les McKeown, specifically based on the books Predictable Success and The Synergist.

There are 4 Types of Leadership according to Les McKeown. Ryan presented information about three of the four types; along with examples of ways each of the leadership styles need the others for the team to function well.

Visionary Leaders are leaders with these qualities:

  • Big thinkers who are excited by ideas
  • Love starting new projects and getting people excited about them
  • Motivate people to be their best
  • Optimists who believe there’s always a way through problems


  • Get bored with the details and small logistics
  • Hate routine
  • Not the best at finishing projects
  • Sometimes prioritize the new over the important
  • Known to go to conferences and come back with 50 new ideas to try right now
  • Don’t work well by themselves

Operators are leaders with these qualities:

  • Do-ers
  • Dig into the details of projects
  • Can take something apart to figure out what one piece isn’t working to fix it
  • Enjoys working from a task list


- Visionaries start projects and Operators finish those projects.

- Visionaries need Operators to translate the vision.

- Operators need Visionaries for direction and flexibility.

- When Visionaries and Operators work together there is a lot of fun and growth.

However, when you have growth, complexity can come with it. This leads to overwhelm for both Visionaries and Operators.This is when the team needs to bring in:


  • Rational, logical, analytical, sequential
  • Love bringing order and organization into your ministry
  • Value routine, systems & consistency
  • Don’t like being rushed
  • Love data-driven decisions (and love collecting data)

Processors organize and create systems and processes to make Visionaries’ and Operators’ work more manageable.

Visionaries come up with the vision, the Operators come in to make things happen, and the Processors make sure everything happens smoothly and effectively.

Case Study - Greater New Jersey Conference’s Next Generation Ministries recently made a shift from departments (Camping, Youth Ministry, Campus Ministry) to staff roles based on Processors, Visionaries, and Operators (Programming, Administration, and Project Management). All of their staff now work with camping, youth, and campus ministries. Visionaries are able to vision all across the board. Administration people are now able to focus on operations and don’t have to stop to think about programming. Project Managers are holding the whole thing together by finding ways to be more

efficient with processes.


  • People often can function as two or three of these types, but one tends to be a person’s preference.
  • Someone may be strong in multiple types, but we can only function in one at a time.
  • This isn’t the full story. Visionaries, Operators, and Processors will inevitably run into conflict and need a 4th leadership type/style: The Synergist. We would all benefit from growing in the Synergist skills of collaboration and conflict management.

We had some lively conversation about how these play out at sites in which the Director wears all of the hats. How can seasonal staff, volunteers, and board members contribute to building effective teams that exhibit all of these strengths and skill sets? How can we better delegate different kinds of tasks to those best suited to handle them? 

Our special thanks to Ryan Clements for sharing his insights and introducing us to this resource. If you have an idea that's been valuable to your camp/retreat ministry that might similarly contribute to a Community Conversation, please tell us about it. Contact Jessica to discuss!

Just because we’re sharing these recaps doesn’t mean you should skip Community Conversations! If you’re able to attend, your presence, perspectives, insights, and even your listening and your smile are a key part of our community life. Thanks to all who have been a part of these conversations over the past year and a half. The next one will be Monday, January 31st. Hope you’ll join us.

Questions?  Please contact our Association Registrar

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software