If there is one difference maker in organizations, it may be the leaders’ ability to create unity and loyalty. Unity and loyalty often make the difference between mediocrity and greatness. When I see an organization that lacks personal accountability and has a toxic culture of finger pointing and blame, it is usually the result of a lack of unity and loyalty.

Great leaders have the ability to create an organizational culture that minimizes politics, confusion and turnover. The great organizations have a cult like following, not only internally but externally. Think Apple, Zappos and Southwest Airlines.

Here are 11 things great leaders do to create oneness and richness. Not everyone will be loyal, but it’s worth the risk.

Create strong cultures

  1. Instill a strong belief in family and unity. Leaders avoid finger pointing and blaming. Everyone shares in both successes and failures. This instills that belief in family and unity.
  2. Hire the right people. Individuals who share your core values create a common bond. Seek out individuals who put team goals first.
  3. Constantly communicate the vision and mission of the organization. Individuals should be loyal to the vision and mission, not the leader.
  4. Create an atmosphere of working through adversity. Overcoming adversity strengthens the “oneness” and bond. You learn more from your losses than wins.

Act like a mentor

  1. Great leaders are vulnerable and comfortable with their flaws. They have the ability to disagree and commit. This builds loyalty.
  2. Display “window and mirror” maturity. When things go well leaders point out the window and give credit to everyone else. When things go wrong, they look in the mirror at themselves and take full responsibility. (From book, How The Mighty Fall and Why Some Companies Never Give In, Jim Collins).
  3. Do not act like dictators. Leaders realize that the organization is greater than any one person.

Utilize these allies

  1. Leaders are great communicators. People in the organization know what everyone is doing. Hidden agendas disappear because the organization practices transparency.
  2. Agreements do not go unresolved. Because leaders are great communicators and because everyone knows what’s going on, leaders don’t allow tension and gossip to build. Issues are addressed immediately.
  3. Create shared purpose. The vision and goals of the organization are stated early and often. Unity will overcome individual talent. It’s common in athletics. The most talented team doesn’t always beat the most unified team.
  4. Serve other people. When you are leading you are serving. Help other people do their job and grow.

How about you and your organization? Do you have any advice or suggestions on creating and maintaining unity and loyalty?

John Bossong
John is the General Manager of Cumberland International Trucks in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He believes that a lack of passion and influence are two things that keep organizations and individuals from continually improving and living life rather than wandering through it. Connect with John on his member profile, his blog www.johnbossong.com, LinkedIn or Twitter @JohnBossong.
John Bossong

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