One observation I’ve made over the years is that one cannot have unity in an organization if there is disunity in the leadership of that organization. I make this observation not to suggest that there is necessarily an intentional fostering of disunity in the body if there is disunity in the head. No, it simply is a reality that if the leadership of an organization is not united, that lack of unity, no matter how skillfully masked, will be reflected as a lack of unity in the organization.
An interesting illustration of this appeared in today’s Orlando Sentinel. Apparently, in the last years of Bobby Bowden’s tenure as the head football coach at Florida State University, there was serious disunity in the coaching staff.
Consider the scene after one practice early in October 2009. Former linebackers’ coach Chuck Amato gathered the media for an impromptu press conference. The reason? Amato wanted to dispute rumblings that he and Fisher had gotten into a fistfight on a plane (or in the team shower).
This is apparently just the extreme of what had been the norm. The result?
In years past Florida State’s divided staff created a divided team. The offense and defense rarely met together and rarely worked together. The locker room was separated by position segments, so that some offensive and defensive players rarely interacted.
That is surprising to me, but not so much when one sees the division at the top.
Gone, now, the article says, are locker room divisions. Why? Fisher’s explanation is that now “… everyone has a common goal and they don’t all think they invented it.”
Unity among the leadership will foster unity in the organization.
Fisher managed this partly by firing three guys and hiring some others. Organizations, such as churches, don’t often have that freedom. So, we have to work for unity.
To that end I highly recommend study and reflection upon this book by Patrick Lencioni: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
I long for churches to have “winning seasons” as much as some long for FSU to have one. May we who lead be those who have “a common goal and they don’t all think they invented it.”