The Five Enemies of Unity

I recently listened to a podcast by Dave Ramsey on unity.  He discussed the five enemies of unity:

  1. Gossip
  2. Poor Communication
  3. Lack of a Shared Purpose
  4. Sanctioned Incompetence
  5. Unresolved Disagreements

As many business writings suggest, the first step to success is to create the right team.  It leads to better performance and happiness.  I have spent the last 20 years building the right team (with lots of hits and misses along the way) and it feels great to finally have it in place.  In order to build the team we have now, I’ve worked hard combating the five enemies listed above.

Gossip, according to Webster, is a rumor or report of an intimate nature, but it is also a complaint made to someone that can’t solve the problem.  For example, don’t go to the interpretive planner and whine about how you wish you had a new desk.  At TSI we believe in self responsibility.  If you pose a problem it is best you also present a possible solution without blaming others for your issue.

Poor communication comes in many forms.  I’m currently encouraging everyone to hit reply all more often.  Let’s keep everyone informed.  If all the recipients don’t want to read it, they can delete it.  At least the opportunity is there to be informed.

Our core values, mission and strategies bring us together around a shared purpose.  It’s hard to imagine a workplace where the employees didn’t believe in the company’s mission and vision.  What would be the purpose of their workday?

I equate sanctioned incompetence with a lack of accountability.  If someone is not meeting their goals and objectives, leaders must hold them accountable.  Of course, that means that each person must have goals and objectives in place to which they strive and their performance is measured.  Unfortunately, and painfully sometimes, holding someone accountable leads to firing.  No one said leadership is easy.

We attempt to address issues immediately so there are no unresolved disagreements.  If you go home and talk to your spouse about something that is gnawing at you at work then that issue needs to be addressed at work.  I used to put a time limit on my direct reports.  I encouraged them to have that crucial conversation within 48 hours.  People are chicken to have tough conversations.  Face the fear and address it; it’s for the best in the long run.

What is your work culture like?