Unified: Speak & Act with Urgency
Most would agree that teams need to be unified to be successful. However, what unified means to you may not align with the rest of your team. It’s not enough to say we want to be unified, work together, or have great teamwork. All teams say this.
If you want to be different, you need to articulate what each of your values looks like in action. The behavior that makes your value ‘real’ is the juice that runs your culture.
Why Should We Care?
Unified is one of my, and our team’s, core values. In the process of uncovering this value I reflected on all of the great experiences I’ve had on various teams. I thought about team accomplishments and failures along with my personal achievements and shortcomings. One of the things that stood out to me throughout my reflections was how much better I was on a team.
The stronger, more connected, the team the better I enjoyed it, and the better I performed.
This led to a few questions:
What does a unified team look like?
How do they act?
What do they do?
Of course, teams that work together do a lot of things. They show up, they talk, they share, they take action, they are unselfish, and many more … all of these are important. They all matter.
Here’s the deal with your values though. Everything can’t be of the same importance. If so, you end up with some watered down version of the culture you aspire to have that is a little bit of everything and a lot of nothing. As Lencioni puts it, “If everything is important, then nothing is.”
A unified team is urgent. They realize the importance of every moment and are unwilling to waste any of them. Unified teams are willing to speak up when behaviors don’t match the expected standards. They call out hurtful or unproductive actions for the good of the team. Unified teams are comprised of individuals who realize that ignoring damaging behaviors is selfish. When doing so, they are choosing their comfort over the good of the team. Choosing to avoid the discomfort of confronting teammates is not unified. The best teams I have been on, not only speak with urgency, but they also take action. They’re compelled to improve and do not hesitate or delay in doing so.
For me, being unified is speaking and acting with urgency.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
Here are a few ideas on bringing a core value of unified to action. You’ll have to come up with the equivalent to your team .. good luck!
Speaking and acting with urgency is the essence of being unified on our team. When the situation and time requires it, the willingness to say the hard stuff is critical. It’s the time our unity is called into question. Be ready. Don’t flinch.
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.