These are adapted from the book “Entreleadership” by Dave Ramsey and expanded upon by me.

Every team strives to establish and maintain unity. Without unity it will be rough sledding.

Looking at it from the negative point of view, here are five things that, over time, will be the death knell for teams and, more than likely, negate anything you might be accomplishing. 

1. Poor communication:  Insufficient, inaccurate or missing communication hurts team morale and hinders excellence in goal achievement. Better to over communicate than to keep secrets and open the door for speculation and mistrust. The larger the group or organization, the more effort needs to be invested in effective, timely and inclusive communication. Everyone is on information overload and you have to give time and attention to your communication. Too much is at stake not to.

2.  Lack of purpose, values and vision:  Any strategic objectives that are established need be based on purpose, values and vision or they can result in a perfection of means and a confusion of ends. Purpose speaks to why we exist, values speak to what we believe and vision speaks to where we are going. People want to know how their work relates to the bigger picture. This will keep motivation high.

3. Gossip:  Dave Ramsey shares that he would fire people for being company gossips. We have developed the habit of talking about people rather than talking to people. Nothing can kill teamwork and trust faster than gossip. This is a sin denounced in scripture but accepted in most organizations with which I have worked.

4.  Unresolved conflicts:  By his grace, work at keeping short accounts with the people in your team. Strive for creating a culture of candor, not a culture of fear. We should hold each other accountable for agreed-upon results and behavior instead of gossiping about each other or holding grudges against one another. Instead, let’s speak the truth in love, as Ephesians 4:15 encourages us to do; not so loving that we are untruthful, but neither so truthful that we are unloving. Good leadership is built on loving integrity.

5. Sanctioned incompetence: When you tolerate or overlook obvious and blatant incompetence, you set yourself up for diminished team excellence and achievement. Some of this would be avoided if we did a better & more thorough job of assessing and hiring on the front end. When we see incompetence, we need to find out if it is a:

  • Leadership hiring issue (didn’t do a good job in the hiring phase);
  • Personal issue that the person is going through  (give them time to turn it around);
  • Training issue that, if addressed, would turn incompetence into excellence;

 Keep your eyes open for these unity killers and you will have a great team, for His glory!