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StrategyAug 26, 2013

Unity in Leadership Part 4: Destroying Unity Is Easy

Matt Levy

The idea of an emotional bank account is real. We need deposits of encouragement to offset discouraging withdrawals. If you want to destroy your team’s unity, let those emotional bank accounts slip into the red.

Many leaders are the perfect example of this. We are our own worst critics. We ponder thoughts destructive to our well-being. Our lives contribute significant value, but we forget this when we have fallen short or missed a goal. But encouragement falls on the soul like rain on a desert floor, absorbing quickly. Often it’s desperately needed.

The same is true with your team. When a deadline is looming and they’re working late, that emotional bank account is getting low. The unity you’ve worked so hard to build is endangered as careless comments, sharp barbs and distracted grumbling threaten to pull your team apart.

How many of your team members are encouragers? How many of your managers are encouragers? How often are you encouraging others? It’s good practice to invest in the emotional bank account of others regularly. It paves the way for great conversations, lightens burdens and brings people together.

It’s easy to destroy unity. And it takes time to build unity back up. As Mark Twain once said, “Trust leaves on horseback but returns on foot.”

If you have questions about unity within your organization, post a comment below or connect with us on Twitter.

This is the 4th blog post of the series on Unity in Leadership. If you missed the previous posts in this series, we recommend reading Part 1Part 2Part 3. We also encourage you to read Part 5, and Part 6.

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