If team members aren’t one the same page with the same goals, they’re going to be pulling in many different directions.
To teach this concept, I’ll often ask my audience members to close their eyes and point north, and then I’ll ask them to keep pointing as they open their eyes. As you can imagine, they’re pointing all over the place.
Then I tell them, “Tomorrow morning if you want a similar experience, ask 5, 10, or 15 in your organization what the purpose of their organization is. You’ll find them saying a variety of things that don’t line up.
When people have a different sense of purpose and value, every decision that is made from then on is governed by those. There’s no question that this is one of the fundamental causes of misalignment, low trust, interpersonal conflict, interdepartmental rivalry, personal agendas, and every other sort of dysfunction.
What’s the lesson for all of us? If you’re trying to build a team, make sure FIRST that everyone is on the same page, spouting the same goals, the same purpose, and going the same direction. Otherwise you’ll have chaos on your hands instead of teamwork.