Triple Crown Leadership

Triple Crown Leadership

The Power of a Team Charter

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Leadership speakers and writers, Bob and Gregg Vanourek, use this picture of a rolled up parchment to show the importance of charters in special action teams.


In case you missed our article on the importance of written charters for special action teams in CoBiz Magazine this summer, we are sharing a slightly edited excerpt, along with a link to our written charter template, in this week’s blog post.

Whether to attack a problem, exploit an opportunity, or achieve a philanthropic goal, setting up special teams and committees can be very effective.

These special action teams form for a defined period, ranging from a few days to months or longer. They normally have a small number of team members, such as five or seven. Their participants may work full- or part-time for the team. These teams accomplish their mission and then disband, only to see other special action teams formed and disbanded when their mission is complete.

In addition to other advantages, special action teams are wonderful incubators of leadership capability in which developing leaders practice new skills and get coaching along the way. Smart organizations make extensive use of special action teams.

Without clear operating guidelines, however, it is possible for these special teams to get off track, to work hard on some assignment only to discover that they are off the mark, have stepped on some bureaucratic toes, or ruffled some departmental feathers. That’s why it is essential that these special action teams have short, clear, written charters that scope out their work, responsibilities, especially their authority, and more.

Here is a template for a one-page written charter for special action teams. Perhaps you will use it to plan a holiday fundraiser for your organization, or to find an innovative way to hit those end-of-year targets.

If you are able to make use of this charter template, please write to us about your experience. How did it help? Were you able to anticipate and avoid any ruffled feathers or other problems? Did it help to maintain focus? What would you do differently next time? Whatever your experience, let us hear from you!


Bob Vanourek and Gregg Vanourek, father and son, are co-authors of and speakers on Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations, winner of the 2013 International Book Award (Business: General). Like us on Facebook. Plus us on Google. Follow us on Twitter: @TripleCrownLead, @BobVanourek, @GVanourek. Sign up on our website to receive our newsletter and leadership blogs.

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