unify around a goal not a person, ideally a higher purpose

“You cannot unify everyone’s thoughts, but you can unify everyone through a common goal.

Don’t even think that you are able to unify what everyone is thinking; it is impossible.
30% of all people will never believe you. Do not allow your colleagues and employees to work for you.
Instead, let them work for a common goal.
It is a lot easier [and safer/better] to unite the company under a common goal rather than uniting the company around a particular person.”

from an interview with Jack Ma (billionaire founder of the Chinese Ali Baba portal)

I personally see the need to find not only unifying goals, but also higher purposes, of the kind that bring not only the mind but the entire being of each individual of your team to dedicate their full set of talents to achieve them:

I push you to find unifying, higher purposes, that connect to the customers you serve and to the bottom line you need to achieve.

from forced upon to inspired by

“We believe that only when an approach is inspired (read: the spirit blown into it), can it be successful and transformative. It doesn’t matter how smart the strategy is. If people do not believe it, it has no possibility of success.

All transformation starts with one person. If there is one person who believes in the values that formed the foundation of the strategy, he or she will give meaning to it by ‘living it’. If one person lives the example by taking actions based upon the common principles, new possibilities will appear … There is nothing more contagious than someone who sees and uses new possibilities. Not as an opportunist, but in the spirit of the values and the purpose. Living the values from inside out, in contrast to the values being forced upon from outside in.”

From a post by Refresh Interactions

leaders are at the front and need to walk and change faster

jono-eli-kulkue-1“Leaders and change agents cannot stay behind and just crawl behind everyone else, and change their behavior only after everybody else has already done so. They need to lead the change.

This puts massive pressure on a leader or a manager in this new era. As a person he or she has to be more nimble, more agile and more open-minded; more critical towards their own personal behavior, have higher tolerance for uncertainty and own unflinching belief for what you are doing. Not to forget the high moral and ethical standard and living up to your values and demonstrating that every single day.”

from Mika Korhonen’s blog post “leaders are required to change faster