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The 4th “C” of Adding Healthy Team Members

By October 10, 2016July 5th, 2019Church, Leadership, Team Leadership

I believe there is a fourth “C” to finding good team members. Unfortunately, I had to discover it the hard way.

You’ve possibly heard of the 3 C’s of finding the best team members. I think Bill Hybels is often credited with them.


Bill Hybels appears to be a genius leader. I agree with all of them. They are each important. People need the chemistry to mesh with others well on the team. They need competence to do the job well. And, of course, they need character to keep from injuring the quality and integrity of the team. All vital attributes of finding healthy team members.

But, I believe there is a fourth “C”.

It may be semantics. Some may say it’s covered in one of others – maybe chemistry. I think it’s unique.

The fourth “C for me is Culture.”

That’s right.


Culture involves things like what people wear, office hour expectations, the unwritten rules, and the way things have always been done.

I’ve hired people I like personally – we had good chemistry – they had competence and character- they were even friends – but we found out we didn’t belong on the same team. We see things differently. Our culture preference is different.

One of my close pastor friends leads so much differently than I lead. He’s a good leader. He leads a healthy church, but his style is different. It creates a different culture than one I would create.

I hope he would say the same for me. I strive to be a good leader. I attempt to lead a healthy church. But, I’m different.

Some people will fit better under the culture my friend’s leadership creates. Some people will fit better under the culture my leadership creates.

This goes without mentioning the cultural individuality of the churches we both lead have existed long before either of us became pastors. Or the unique settings and community of the churches.

Not long ago there was a person I desperately wanted on our team. He had chemistry, competence and character. But, the more we processed together it simply wasn’t the right culture. As much as we would have loved working together, he would have been very unhappy in the days ahead.

And, so what’s the purpose of this post?

Hopefully the application of this speaks for itself, but just to be clear.

When you hire – consider character, competence and chemistry. Those are important.

But also consider culture. Is your culture a good fit for the person?

When you consider where to work — consider character, competence and chemistry.

But also consider culture. Is it a good fit?

Culture matters.

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Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Jim says:

    I am just wondering if we would not be more challenged to grow by people who were not of the same "culture". It seems to me that this is an excuse to surround yourself with yes men rather than a diversified team. I would question if the culture created by the leadership style being so rigid and immutable as to exclude certain types of team members is truly healthy for the church or the team.

    Maybe I'm wrong. It certainly wouldn't be the first time. But, I wonder how far I would stray from the path if there is no one to question where the culture I created is taking me.

    • ronedmondson says:

      This is a good question, and I totally agree if you're referring to a mandated culture.But I'm talking more in preference of culture than I am anything. For example, I prefer a more laid back environment. I don't want all the rules spelled out. Now, obviously we have lots of strict rule followers on our team – and I'm glad we do. It keeps us from chaos, but they must choose to enjoy a culture where the senior leader is not defining everything for them.I know other people and they can't function in that environment. They need more structure from senior than I'm probably going to provide.It also has to do with historical culture. For example, we are in a Sunday school church. We've had people not want to join our church because they prefer a small group environment. I get that. It's a cultural preference.

  • Culture is one of our key hiring qualifications. We too have seen too many people com and of simply because their culture fit was off. What would you say is the distinct difference between culture and chemistry? They feel very similar to Me.

  • Good post, Ron. Culture is a good word. For years my 4th "C" has been "Commitment to the vision." It is possible to have the first three without unity about the future of the organization. Perhaps that can be summarized with "culture" as you have indicated. Thanks.

    • ronedmondson says:

      I like it. A lot. May reword the post a bit because that's definitely in my thought process