Culture

Divide and Conquer? I Think Not.

March 3, 2021

There is strength in celebrating our differences, but we can't let them divide us. There's so much divisive messaging out there, and it's not enough to just ignore it.

Human beings are 99.9% genetically identical. The traits by which we define race are entirely arbitrary.

In fact, it would be equally scientifically valid to have two races: The Lactose Intolerant and The Lactose Tolerant.

Of course, we have cultural differences and differing opinions and beliefs… and those are things we can celebrate - but we are far more the same than we are different.

So why do we focus so much more on our differences than on what we have in common?

Regardless of political party, country, color, creed, race, or gender… We all basically want the same fundamental things.

We want our families and loved ones safe. We want a good quality of life, quality education, nice weather, a trip to Disney World, or wherever it is you dream of visiting.

But with all the turmoil going on in the world right now, there are so many forces trying to divide us when we need to be united as human beings more than ever.

There are far too many voices trying to put us in boxes; to divide and conquer. The narratives pointing out our differences are much louder than those that unite us.

But we’re so much stronger together.

We must not let those narratives win. Instead, we should listen, appreciate, and embrace our differences but celebrate that we are all created by one God, in the image of God.

We must continue to work together; to build one another up, not tear each other apart.

That means being mindful of divisive messaging - and that’s not the same as ignoring it.

It’s always dripping into our subconscious. We have to pay attention and then actively decide which narratives to accept and which to reject.

You can’t just hope for brighter days, you have to trailblaze and make it happen.

Humanity’s most monumental achievements have almost always come from collaborations between very different people.

A successful business has to juggle similar challenges.  

We all have different jobs, in different departments.

We have different skillsets and different weaknesses.

We have differing religions, political leanings, favorite sports teams.

The business cannot function without those differences.

The people in marketing have different skills than the people in finance. One person’s strength balances another’s weakness.

Those differences should be celebrated and leveraged!

But the business will fail if those differences are the main focus.

Instead, we have to focus on what we have in common; focus on our shared goals.

We’re all essential. We’re the sum of all our parts. We make up the countries, societies, and companies we live and work in with all our faults and victories and differences.

When we celebrate and focus on who we are as a whole... When we celebrate who we are as a human race. When we reject the messages that seek to divide us and choose to celebrate our humanity... that’s when we flourish.

Together we go further.

I’d be willing to bet that many of the places where your business struggles are those where your people are focused more on their individual roles than on the shared goals and commonalities of the company.

Ask yourself:

How connected are my people?

Are they all part of the same team or are they isolated in silos?

Or worse, pitted against one another?

As a leader, what kind of narrative are you sharing? Are you feeding a divisive narrative? Or are you fostering a team environment that promotes unity and focuses on shared goals and outcomes?

In the words of Henry Ford, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”

Tony Gareri

CEO & Culture Enthusiast

Drawing from firsthand experiences, Tony addresses how a culture evolution can lead to improved business results and happier work environments.

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