For Troy Meachum, owner of ACR Supply Company in Durham, North Carolina, the thought of vacation was anything but relaxing. It's not that he didn't love getting away, it's that he dreaded returning to a desk full of problems and team members who weren't getting along.
Troy knew something had to change, so he rolled up his sleeves and went to work to transform his company's culture. A major part of that was unifying his team. To accomplish this goal, Troy relied on the lessons he learned at EntreLeadership Master Series. And like Dave, he found out that if he kept the five enemies of unity away from his door, everyone became increasingly unified. You can do the same! The enemies include:
Failure to Communicate
Want a team that works together as one? Then talk it up and always let them know what's going on, whether good news or bad. As Dave says, "Most people assume the worst times 10 when leadership hasn't built trust with them by telling the whole truth." Be proactive with your communication.
Lack of Shared Purpose
A company without a common goal is like a car traveling to an unknown destination without a GPS. You don't have a clue where you're going, and you'll probably never get there. You can't have unity without a common goal, a common mission and a common vision, all flowing from a common dream. Create them and talk about them over and over again. And then talk about them some more.
One thing you will never find at Dave's office is gossip. Everyone knows that if they have a problem, they need to take it to their leader and no one else. In fact, Dave hates gossiping so much, it's a fireable offense. "It has the power to divide and destroy everything you have built," Dave says.
It's a fact as old as time. When you get a bunch of humans together, no matter their age, education or sense of humor, disputes are going to ensue. And as a leader, it's your job to act quickly and decisively when you become aware of them. If not, they will fester, and your team will grow apart.
Remember in school when you were assigned a group project, and there was always that one goof-off who never helped? You didn't feel like pitching in the next time, right? Well, the same holds true for your team. If you don't act when someone can't or won't do their job, it demotivates everyone else.
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By fighting the five enemies of unity, you can create team members who love their job and are all working toward a common goal—winning the game. That's what Troy has done, and today he has no problem going on vacation. "We have a culture much like a family who cares for each other, communicates, and wants to help each other and unite," he says. "It's a place where people wake up and want to come to work."