“Disunity is the enemy.” These words came from a Fire Chief in describing the challenges of leading a team in a very polarized environment. I was surprised to hear that disunity was an issue in a firehouse, but maybe it is not so surprising given all the examples of disunity we see at big companies and on college campuses.

The Fire Chief’s solution has two parts: 1) leave politics in your car and 2) focus the team on building something beautiful. The first strategy is very practical. The second strategy is (to me) both practical and inspirational.
If you want to get anything done in your organization, you must be unified. You must be aligned. But what are you aligned to do and is it something “beautiful?”

If it is, then you have a good chance at grabbing the intrinsic motivators of people. People want connectivity. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves.

It’s why people love being with other fans at a live sporting event. It’s why people love getting involved in non-profit work with others. I think everyone can relate with the idea that they are building something beautiful with their families.  But “beauty” does not need to be limited to sports, charities, or at home.

In what ways is what you are trying to build a noble, inspiring pursuit? Take some time to think about what is possible and the many ways that further success of the team means. Then talk to your team about how what all of you are doing (if done to your utmost) is making the world a better place.