Hope for Unity, Not Uniformity

There’s a good chance you work for an organization that talks about culture by advertising “ONE  _______ (Fill in Org Name Here).” The goal is unity. Our leaders want us to remember we’re on the same team and to work across function and region.

Sometimes, when the call to unity is combined with reminders about shared processes and practices, the call to unity morphs into a demand for uniformity of behavior. That’s a mistake. It may be tempting to want everyone to follow the same process in the same way; it’s just not realistic. Unity does not come about because of uniform behavior.

Unity is the result of a shared vision and mutually held values, including trust and respect. As a leader, there are some simple things you can do today to inspire unity for your team and your organization.

  1. State the Vision. Remind people of the destination. What does success look like in terms of the results you’re after and the experience you want the team to have while working together? Say that more than you want to or think you need to. Then say it again.
  2. Identify and model shared values. While everyone has their own process, there are some things that we need to agree will guide our behavior as we work together. What’s acceptable and what’s not in terms of personal behavior? Discuss and set expectations in terms of how people treat one another, make requests, deliver feedback, handle conflicts, make decisions, communicate, interact with stakeholders, etc? Have this conversation monthly. At least.
  3. Model trustworthiness. Be open to working with others. Be sincere in your communication. Be reliable in your actions. Be committed to delivering excellence. Be concerned for the success of others. Through these things, people find us trustworthy. Check in with yourself every day. Was I open? Was I honest? Was I reliable? Was I competent? Was I concerned?

These actions will bring people together and create the unity you seek. They are simple. They are not easy. Leaders at least try.

About the Author

Dr. Greg Giuliano gets leaders and teams to go beyond usual and ordinary. Greg coaches senior executives and leadership teams all over the world to accelerate their development and grow their capacity to engage others and lead. Well-known for his ability to synthesize complex information quickly and for his fast-paced, impactful communications, Greg designs personal- and team development strategies that create alignment and build the leadership muscle required to coordinate action and lead real change.

Greg heads up Giuliano Associates, a consulting firm specializing in executive coaching, team and organization development, and leadership development. Greg’s personal motto, “Go to the edge. Push farther. Repeat.” provides the foundation for his work: to grow “ultra leadership,” which is the will to go beyond usual and ordinary and push the limits, combined with the skill to get people to willingly, enthusiastically, and repeatedly engage and contribute to important work. He is the creator of the Ultra Leadership 360 and author of the bestselling, Ultra Leadership: Go Beyond Usual and Ordinary to Engage Others and Lead Real Change.

Marshal Goldsmith, author of the New York Times bestseller, Triggers says, “Anyone facing stagnant processes, corporate infighting, and the usual roadblocks at work will deeply appreciate the great lessons in Ultra Leadership! Adopt a breakthrough leadership strategy that will fundamentally change your workplace, and your personal leadership style, for the better!”

Click here to download Ultra Leadership.

Categories: Leadership.