Conversations on Teamwork with the Collegiate Executive Team

Noah Haas, Melissa Nugent, Ben Nugent, Deb Proctor 

Hosted by Norm Hubbard 

A good team can make or break your experience of job and ministry. 

During the Navigators National Collegiate Conference in 2021, Norm Hubbard interviewed the Collegiate Executive Team about some of their thoughts on teaming. Ben and Melissa Nugent, Deb Proctor, and Noah Haas all talked about their experience of working together as a team. 

How do you function in your decision-making role as a team together? 

Deb: Well, we are all very different personalities, and we each bring such different things… I have learned that I have my limits, and that this team makes me better. I’ll be honest, I competed in the beginning as we were working together.  

Ben: I think we had to learn how to lay our personal agenda at the door and ask instead, “Well, what does the mission need? And what are the obstacles that get in the way of the gospel?” The job of a leader is to break down those barriers. If we came in with an agenda, each one of us, then we’ve got four agendas. The gospel is not going anywhere. We needed help to work together through our very different value sets. We did some team coaching with the TDC Design Team with CliftonStrengths. This helped us figure out our motivation and what drives the decisions we make.  

Melissa: We’ve had to strengthen our awareness of each other’s strengths and identify where we have weaknesses. If you know the four quadrants [of CliftonStrengths]—relational, strategic, executing, and influencing—Ben and I, our first relational one is like number 16… So, we are really thankful that Noah and Deb have top strengths that are relational. It helps our whole team work together, and [remember] “Oh, yeah, we should think about the people that we lead. We’re grateful for that.” 

What are some of the team challenges that you have faced? 

Ben: Well, Deb and I move at very different speeds.  

Deb:  That’s an understatement. 

Ben: I have to consciously think about how I want to go fast and Deb wants to go people. Could we make this a side bar quote? We deal with 600+ people, and it does slow us down when we think, “How does this decision impact everyone?”  I’m like, “Decision impact? We just gotta go!” In our teamwork, Deb is always telling me, “You drive the boat. I’ll tell you if you’re going so fast that people are falling off the side.” It does contradict my preference for speed and efficiency. When we’re making decisions together, sometimes I’m like, “Deb, we got to go faster.” And sometimes she is like, “Ben, you have to slow down.” That would be an example of kinda how we roll together.  

Melissa – Noah and I really like to do things like the way that they should be done…And we think about the precedent and if we make this decision, what will that mean for future decisions? Ben and Deb don’t always think about those. 

Ben: Precedent? Let’s just go! 

Deb: I’m thinking, “This matters to that person. Why are we thinking about a precedent?” It doesn’t make any sense to me. 

Melissa: So, we have to compromise a little bit. 


In what ways do you see that this team of Collegiate leaders is has learned to understand and appreciate each other’s differences, celebrate them, and defer to each other as they work together to move the gospel forward? 

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