Great leaders create unity. It’s as simple as that.
Author and leadership expert Patrick Lencioni has a profound statement that has influenced me greatly.
In other words, if your leadership team is unified, understands the mission, and reflects the values of the organization effectively, then by nature, the teams they lead are going to have that same influence and impact.
As a leadership team, do you make time for each other?
We’ve recently made the investment at D+C to meet in person with our strategic leadership team 5-6 times a year. And we ask ourselves these questions:
- How are we deepening personal relationships so that we have an understanding of how each person is wired and what drives them?
- Do we have good communication so that other parts of the organization are aware of how we’re helping drive growth and innovation?
- How are we being custodians of the culture?
- How are the people on our team doing and how are we growing them?
- What does it look like to be innovative organizationally? How are we pushing the envelope?
As leaders in 2022, our culture indirectly tells us to divide, tear, and accuse. “I have to make sure that people know my position and how it’s different from everyone else’s position!”
But as is usually the case, God’s Word flips this mentality upside down and tells us something entirely different.
Take a moment to reflect on Paul’s words in Ephesians 4:1-3:
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
In my role as president of D+C, I feel it’s incumbent upon me to drive unity within our walls.
Now, I’m talking about unity, not uniformity, because God has created us differently. He’s given us different gifts, skills, backgrounds, and experiences. We come at life from different viewpoints and experiences.
Look again at the first part of verse 3. What does Paul say to do?
Make. Every. Effort.
It’s not a half-hearted effort! It means I’m going to put down some things that feel very important at times because I have to make every effort to focus on unity.
In verse 2 of this passage, Paul calls us to be patient, completely humble, and gentle, ‘bearing with one another.’
Oftentimes when you’re a driven leader like myself, God matures your faith and begins to quiet some of those parts of your spirit that need to be more reflective. I might need to be a better listener or maybe more of a peacemaker.
And as a leader, if you have a problem handling or receiving the problems that your people face, if that frustrates you or you react negatively, I would challenge you. Part of being a leader is being a problem solver. A portion of our time is always going to be committed to that.
Remember: We are custodians of the vision that God has implanted within the organization.
We have to be communicators of that vision and the values that surround it consistently. It’s something we have to reiterate creatively in different ways over and over again. And we must communicate it clearly so there’s no ambiguity. Everyone sees the harbor and is aiming at the same port. That’s unity!
Paul’s advice is for us and for every believer. When we’re humble, patient, and unified, more ground can be taken for the kingdom and more lives changed… for eternity.
For more encouragement and insight on how to lead towards unity within your organization, check out the Cause+Effect Podcast episode, How Great Leaders Create Unity with Trent Dunham.
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