9 Tasks of leadership, Task #5 – achieving workable unity

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The capacity more powerful than any other in a leader is the ability to articulate vision because vision is a beckoning target. It articulates a view of a realistic, credible, attractive future for your organization. It makes you focus your attention on worthwhile and attainable achievements. It provides the social and spiritual architecture that frames your identity.

It is the capacity to focus, and the leader’s imperative to continually inspire effort towards that focus, that provides the energy to achieve workable unity.

No Vision – No Destiny

No Purpose – No Direction

No Direction – No Progress

No Progress – No Growth

No Growth – Decay and Failure

Direction and progress demand effort, talent, and responsibility. Unity gathers those three components in pursuit of one vision. When the parties involved pursue other visions, even noble ones that becomes two visions which is Division. Division hinders progress towards your objectives or stops it entirely.

So a workable unity is imperative. The keyword here is workable. You are not asking your associates to abandon other visions, but to subjugate them for the sake of the vision of the job. For the hours they work, your vision as leader (or the representative of the leader) is paramount.

It can be as simple as asking associates to turn off cell phones so they can work unhindered by interruptions or it can be as complex as motivating strong-willed independent associates  to just get along with others.

So, you the leader will be required to deal with INTERNAL conflict – the conflict that arises between associates – and EXTERNAL conflict – the conflict that arises between associates and you or other managers. Conflict management is a subject too comprehensive to cover in the small space that remains in this post, but I will address it soon.

Workable unity cannot be mandated, at least not for long. Demanding that others comply works only with those least developed, most immature workers. Mature and more developed associates will not respond to demands for compliance for long.

Their unity must be earned. How?

  1. They willingly and eagerly comply with a vision, and its corresponding demands for effort, talent, and responsibility, because they believe in the vision it resonates within. It matches their own ambitions and expectations for the future.
  2. They willing and continually comply with your vision because you demonstrate authenticity. The image you promote is discovered to match who it is you are. In the previous post I said that motivation happens when people want what it is that you’ve got because you reflect with what you do and how you function what it is that you say you should be. When image matches reality, unity is both demonstrated and promoted. Your associates see it so they comply.

I want to make one last comment on the concept of workable unity. Like you, your associates have a life outside of work. You should live it and you should let them live it as well. Workable unity means sufficient unity to get the job done in reasonable harmony, to maintain a workplace free of hostility, and to accomplish the organizations objectives with excellence.

On Thursday, task # 6 is Explaining. See you then.

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