414 | Fostering Unity: Both at Home and at Work

On today’s episode, we talk about the necessary ingredients to fostering unity: both at home and at work. Humility, vulnerability and understanding are all needed to foster a lasting unity. It’s going to be painful, it’s going to take time, but it’s going to be worth it!

If unity is about coming together, then peace is about staying together. 

Einstein said, Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. So, what does it take to come together in agreement and stay in a place of harmony?

Someone might say, Well, Chris, you don’t need to be vulnerable to be on a leadership team. Oh but you do – to be on a successful one. 

You’ve got to be able to get down in the muck in the mire and help others out of it. Right? 

You’ve got to be able to be vulnerable with others; you’ve got to show them the flaws and faults and mistakes that you’ve made. So if you don’t have trust in your family or leadership team, then I can tell you, you’re probably not being vulnerable and you won’t be truly unified. 

So, how do we foster real unity on a team? What does it take and what’s at stake? 


unity, understand, business, people, direction, experiencing, perspective, culture, offended, life, team, unified, fostering, leaders, family, defensiveness, operating, person, agree, heading


Chris LoCurto


Chris LoCurto  00:00

If you want greater unity, you've got to gain greater understanding, that is coming up next.


Chris LoCurto  00:15

Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show, where we discuss leadership and life, and discover that business is what you do, not who you are. Welcome to the show, folks. Today we are talking about fostering unity. What are the obstacles? What's at stake? And how do we create it? How do we promote it? And how do we see it grow in our business and our home? And guys, this is an important time to be discussing this topic. Now, historically, America is a great example of unity. If you take a look at our currency, there's the Latin phrase "E pluribus unum", which means, "Out of many, one", which is another way of saying that is, "From diversity, comes unity." Unity in diversity, right? That's where we actually get the term "university". Surprising, I know. That's unity. That's what we're talking about. Many different parts coming together to create something uniquely joint together, unified and strong. Diversity can be healthy, but it must be contained within unity to survive. If you take a look at Matthew 12:25, "A kingdom divided by civil war is doomed, a town or a family splintered by feuding will fall apart." Unity is about what we can agree on, right? Different parts agreeing on what they have in common, and sharing a mutual good, and a mutual goal right? But how do we get into agreement and how do we stay agreed in this contentious, easy to offend, world that we are currently living in? It is amazing as we point out something like "university" coming from unity and diversity, is actually becoming a contradiction, because what we're seeing more and more and more is this contentious, easy to offend world is, "We don't like diversity in certain areas. We want everything to be our way." So we're going to talk about the obstacles to the unity we all want when we come back right after this.


Chris LoCurto  02:27

Hey, leaders, we're a long way from the problems of last year, and yet for many owners and leaders, their businesses still look the same. So, let me ask you a question: What changes have you made to ensure you're stronger by the end of this year than you were last year? Here's the thing; if we don't take new action, then we can't expect anything to change. Now is the time to make those necessary improvements. It's time to pour new life into your business, your team, and your leadership by learning and implementing new and sharper skills that will give your business the boost it needs to succeed. Now I know you want to lead your team out of the past, and into a better, stronger position. That's why it's time to sign up for the Next Level Leadership Live Event that is happening this month. Now listen, this is not some positive thinking seminar. It's a strategic thinking workshop designed just for you, as business owners and leaders. You'll come away equipped with an actionable plan in hand to immediately increase your team's capacity and stability. How? Expert driven workshops where you'll sit down together with our coaches, and design a better future for you and your team members. Imagine returning to your business and your team with newly defined Key Result Areas for your most important team members. Imagine having the tools in hand to give your team a new level of ownership and responsibility, empowering them to succeed like never before. This event is happening soon, the 28th through the 30th of April, so don't miss this opportunity. If you've been to our event before, then you already know what a game changer this is. On top of that, we've added brand new experiences and excursions that you will never forget. Registration ends on April 21st at midnight, so don't wait. Go to chrislocurto.com/liveevent or text "liveevent" one word, to the number 44222 for more information and to get your tickets. Again, that's chrislocurto.com/liveevent. Don't miss this opportunity to change your business, team, and leadership for the better.


Chris LoCurto  04:50

Alright, we're talking about unity, and guys this is not going to be a political rant. This isn't going to be Chris going on and attacking you know all of the ridiculousness out there, although I could probably do 47 episodes on that. We're talking about getting unity for you. Unity in your business. We're talking about the obstacles that are keeping us from it, right? So scripture asks us a question in Amos 3:3, "Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?" Well, what is the obvious answer? No, we obviously can't walk in the same direction if we don't agree on the direction, right? So we've got to take a look first at what are some of the obstacles that we are seeing? So you know as well as I do, that we live in a day, in an age, of short tempers. We live in this insanely crazy concept of, you know, cancel at will, virtue signaling. It is amazing to watch a single commercial-I don't get to see a lot of commercials. But I was somewhere, waiting somewhere that had a TV in the lobby, and every single commercial, everything that was on, was virtue signaling. If you don't know what that is, it's saying, you know, here, you know, "We're a taco company and this product that we're putting together is good for society, it's helping social cause." Everything is this, this is virtuous, you know, every commercial has, you know, masks, instead of selling a product, they're selling that they're wearing masks while they're selling their product. What's the point of that? I don't care if you want to wear masks, don't want to wear a mask. What's the point of the message? Everybody feels like they have to defend themselves in this cancel culture. In this crazy culture that's happening, right? It's immediately putting everybody on the defensive, what happens when it does? It causes us not to be unified. It's the opposite of unity. Right? unity seems the furthest thing from our current reality. But it doesn't have to be, at least not with your business. Not with your team, not with your family, right? So, let's take a look at the top obstacles to fostering unity in your family, your team, or your business, right? The first one is offence. We are quick, nowadays, to create walls. Now, I will tell you, a little tool that I use a lot of times in different types of events or teaching situations is that when I see somebody have a response, that seems over the top, one of the you know, depending upon the relationship I have with the person, right? If I'm able to speak in, if I'm trying to help somebody get somewhere, help somebody saw something, a lot of times I will ask the question, "Is that response equal to the situation?" We are seeing people lose their ever loving minds, with videos, and all kinds of situations and complaining, and ripping people apart, because, you know, they're offended by the most ridiculous thing. Right? I saw one cultural person going into a different cultural restaurant establishment, to scream at them that they're stealing from their culture. Because they were selling a specific type of drink. And it was just, what in the world are you doing in your life? How were you offended by this? You're not. You're actually really not that offended. You just don't have anything more important in your life, so you're taking a strong offense to this. Hey, get a life. Right? But here's the deal. What do I do about that when I'm the leader? You have to have tools, you have to understand what's going on, you don't just immediately go to defense, you don't just immediately look to the situation and say, This person is probably right. Instead, you have to ask yourself the question, is this equal to, is this response equal to the situation? I see this person getting offended, I see this person creating walls like super fast. Is this the right response? Is the thing that we're talking about something that is this offensive, right? Is this something that I want in my culture? Is this how we respond to stuff? Or, instead of being offended, do we gain quality perspective?


Chris LoCurto  09:37

Do we ask quality questions? Maybe the person isn't understanding something, maybe they're becoming offended by something because they're making incredible assumptions, whatever it is, the number one thing that's going to create a lack of unity is this you know, ease or speed to offence. So you have to tackle this. Number two is going to be selfishness. Oh my gosh. Which obviously, what does offence come from right? Why do we self-protect? Why do we defend? We do those things that are fear. We do those things out of insecurity. When we are focused on us, then instead of being focused on the best things, the most important things, the things that are going to solve problems, whatever it is, we actually self-protect. Many times as a leader, you've probably been trying to help somebody. And immediately as you're trying to point something out, instead of receiving that, instead of working on that, personally, the first thing they do is go to self-protection. They go to defensiveness. It is tough, I get it. I understand. Here's the problem; how you respond matters. If somebody is being self- protective, if somebody is being defensive, and you go to match that defensiveness, now, we have wasted time. There's no possibility you're getting any unity, there's no possible you might not even get, you know, resolution on this conversation for hours to come or days to come, right? Instead, you have to be looking at what's going on and start asking yourself questions. Why would this person be responding with such defensiveness? Why is this person responding with such self-protection? So many times, I will ask questions, "Hey, what are you experiencing right now? What are you feeling right now?" And if it's somebody who's truly being a victim, then they will probably respond with, "You're attacking me." Which, if you're not able to not receive it, then you might think "I need to battle back." The thing is, is you do not have to battle back. Instead, you can ask questions, "What is the attack that you're experiencing? How am I attacking you? What is the thing that you're experiencing as an attack?" And go through legitimate perspective gaining questions. The great thing is, is that when somebody is being self-defensive, if you don't battle back, it allows them to see their responses faster. It allows them to see how they're reacting. Now, if you get somebody who just constantly does this, you're either gonna have to push a little bit harder, or you're gonna have to give them some consequences to this, "Hey, if this is going to be the way that you respond to every time we're trying to walk through something, or teach something, or help you to get through something or get better perspective on something, then we're going to have a problem, because that's not our culture." Right? So obviously, that's not your first step, try and help try and help try and help, right. Third obstacle to fostering unity in your family or your team or your business is a lack of trust. Now, guys, I gotta tell you, everybody will distance themselves, when there's perceived threats, right? Everybody will distance themselves when they do not feel like they can be vulnerable. Leaders, especially you with leadership teams, you have got to understand that you will never be a unified leadership team. Until the team can trust that everybody around the table has their best interest at heart. It's not gonna happen. You might be a bunch of folks that like each other, you might be operating a successful business. But until the people can look around the table and go, "I really think that nobody here wants to hurt me. I believe everybody here has my best interest at heart." Until that happens, vulnerability is not going to happen. Why is that important?


Chris LoCurto  13:48

"Well, Chris, you don't need to be vulnerable be on a leadership team." You do to be on a successful one. What is our goal as a leadership team? To lead the rest of the business to success. If I'm going to lead people well, I must be vulnerable. I must be able to get down in the muck in the mire and help them out of it. Right? I've got to be able to be vulnerable and show them flaws and faults and mistakes that I've made. So if I don't have trust in the leadership team, I can very quickly tell you, they're not unified. So what's at stake with all of these things that we're talking about today? I want to ask a question and I want you to be vulnerable with yourself. I want you to be honest with you. Does either your family or your business look like any of this? The things that we're talking about right now? Are you seeing these obstacles to unity in your leadership and your business and your family? What are you experiencing? If the answer is yes in any area, any area, listen, this is good for us to say yes if it's true, right? Because guess what we get to do? We get to get in there and fix it. We get to get in there and do the best we possibly can to resolve this. When we don't foster unity in our homes, in our workplace, then what do we experience? Well, you know, you know exactly what you've experienced; wasted time wasted money, wasted resources, great lacks of efficiencies. The culture is usually a disaster, you hate it. How many of you people hate coming into work? Now you people, you hate going into work because you know the culture is a disaster, right? How many of you that are business owners don't like to go to work, because the culture is a disaster? Right? So we know that there's no common DNA in this, we know that there's not a common vocabulary that's going on, we know that there's not you know, standards that people are operating by whether it's in the business or in the family. We know that conflict abounds when there's no boundaries when we're not fostering unity either in the business or in the family. So if all of this is going on, or even some of this is going on inside of your team, how is the client experiencing your business? Folks. Understand that the people who put the food on your table will stop doing that if they experience a business that's not unified. If their experience with your business is painful, if it's difficult, if it causes them stress, if it causes them to be defensive, or self-protective, whatever, then guess what? They're gonna stop giving you certificates of appreciation as Rabbi Lapin would say. So, these are things that we've got to solve. If this is going on inside of your home, then how do you think everybody else is experiencing? I'm not talking about your worth in people's opinions, I'm just talking about how do you think people are experiencing this? How's it affecting others? Right? How's it affecting the rest of your family, right? How's it affecting your friends, your social life? It's having a drain, or it's having a negative effect, I can tell you that. Now, we're going to talk about how to get unified when we come back right after this.


Chris LoCurto  17:31

Hey folks, if you're feeling stuck, anxious, not good enough, or held back in life, then you need to go through our Next Level Life. That's why we created this two day event process. The power of Next Level Life is that it helps you discover your specific root system, why you believe what you do, how you make decisions, and why you are where you are in life, you'll learn the things that are holding you back in life and how to overcome them. You'll come away having found healing, and ready to start living with purpose and authenticity. So if you're ready to stop struggling, if you're ready to find greater peace, then head over to chrislocurto.com/nextlevellife, a Next Level Life is waiting for you. That's chrislocurto.com/nextlevellife today.


Chris LoCurto  18:23

So how do we get unity in our family, in our business, and our teams? Folks, we foster unity when we seek to understand. Albert Einstein said, "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." What's one of the first things we need to do to understand? Well, guys, I know it may sound silly to you, but what do we teach all the time? If you're going to understand people, you got to start with their personality styles. What is some of the biggest conflict that we experience as people? Not understanding how other people operate. Not understanding how they act, react, give information, receive information. It is the number one issue inside of every business; lack of high levels of quality communication, why do we push it so hard? Because the sooner you get to understanding how to communicate with each other, the sooner you get to understanding how to win with communication, the sooner you understand how the other person actually receives information, then you can start changing your productivity. Your success, peace, unity, right? A client once told us that, "My kids have been picking up on personality styles. And so we are intentionally making it a part of our family culture." That was Henry Zook. He shared with us that because they were doing it so much inside of the business and talking about it at home, that his kids started picking up on it. And so he's taking advantage of the situation and going well, if it works for my team, it'd be really smart to do this with my kids, right? So leaders, how are you teaching your team to purposefully, proactively lean in each other's direction? We don't want people to become the other personality style, we want them to understand it. We want them to know what makes that personality style successful. And then we want to lean in that direction. Another part of understanding is having the humility to gather perspective. If you do not care, man, I just can't drive this point hard enough. If you do not care more about the other person than yourself, you will never care what their true perspective is, or what it means. Quite often, we do an example here, at Stratplan. Sometimes in Next Level Life where I've got a coffee canister on the table, it's silver. And I'm at the end of the table, and I will ask the folks, "Hey, what color's this canister?" And they will all say, "Silver." And I'll say, "What if I said it was blue?" Every now then somebody goes, "I'd say you were stupid." And then with a smile on my face, turn the canister and I say, "What if my side was blue? What would you say then?" And it just lands, "I would say that I didn't understand your perspective. I would say I didn't see it from your side." Folks. If you want unity, in any relationship, one of the first things you've got to do is be humble enough, have enough humility to understand that it is not that person's full responsibility to come your direction. You have to play a part. If all you are doing is going well, you need to understand me and that's all, I just need to be heard. You know, I'm not being heard in this situation. I don't feel like you hear me, I don't feel like you get me. If you all you're doing is focusing on your perspective, and not caring one dadgum bit about theirs, then you're never going to have unity. You have to care more about the other person, and then go get their perspective. Not in some sort of leading way, not in some sort of way that tries to prove your point. But actually legitimately care. "Hey, how do you see this? Why do you see it that way? What's helped you to come to that opinion, that hypothesis? What's gotten you to this place of understanding?" It's an amazing thing when you're not losing or trying to gain worth in a conversation, that you can actually care about what the other person thinks. The great thing is, is when you do, it gives you new information. It gives you new perspective. You might learn that the other side of the canister is blue. And if you do, what do you do with that? Because here's the thing, you're technically half wrong. Right? If you think the canister is completely silver, you're half wrong. So, what can you do with the new information? You can grow. You can become smarter. So let me give us all a throat punch here. We had this great discussion in staff meeting the other day. When I shut down perspective gathering because I want to be right, because I'm struggling with with worth, because whatever, I'm just prideful. When I shut down perspective gathering, what I'm saying is; "I don't want to be smarter than I currently am. My personal emotional struggle right now is keeping me from being smarter." Because here's the great thing. If I care about your opinion, I care about your perspective, and I go after it and it's something I don't know, I've gleaned. I've grown, I'm smarter, I know more now. What's the worst case scenario? I get your perspective. I lost 30 seconds a minute of gaining your perspective and what if it doesn't help me? Well, then I've at least grown in the practice of gaining perspective. So when we seek to understand that becomes one of the biggest pieces of fostering unity, what else can we do? Well, we discover what we can agree on, you have to, and we talked about this in a previous episode, you have to have standards that are taught and demonstrated. You have to have certain things that people can say, "Okay, this, no ifs, ands, or buts about it, it's something that we can agree on, that's going to point us toward, or pull us toward unity." So when you do that, and you teach your team or you teach your family, "Hey, guys, this is the way we always do it here." Then it helps people to be on the same page. Are you going to do that with every single thing? No, but you can sure as heck do that with a lot. Think of your core values. There's two things we tend to teach the team here, core values and cultural stuff. And the great thing is, is that when the team learns, this is how we do stuff, they have to agree that that's the way they're going to do it, if they're going to stay. If they choose not to do the things, the way that we teach, if they choose to go against our core values or our culture, they don't get to stay. So a great thing is, if we see somebody not operating, and that just doesn't really happen much here. But if we see somebody operating in a way that goes against our core values, our culture, then we call them out. We hold them accountable. If they decide they don't want to do that, they usually choose to leave. Again, that doesn't happen often. When people have common standards to agree on, then amazing things happen. They start focusing on the same goals, they start focusing on the same objectives, they utilize the same processes, they use the same approaches to handling things to doing stuff. One of the great examples, if you've not been through Financial Peace University, get your butt in it. Take your family through that, that is just crazy powerful. But a great example is Financial Peace University, hey, this is the way that we handle money. This is the way we handle budgets. This is the way we look at spending. This is what we do with tithe, money. Whatever it is, we're moving in this direction, this is the way we're gonna do it. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Don't pull away from this, stay on target. Let's get this done.


Chris LoCurto  27:24

Right? When you are on the same page of handling your finances, guess what happens? You actually do a considerably better job with your finances. You get out of debt faster, you put money in the bank faster, you get to greater achievement, you delay gratification, because you're focusing on better achievements, right? We talked about this in the willpower episodes, you're usually operating from one of two places in your prefrontal cortex; either the better decision making area, which is causing you to delay gratification, or the desire rewards area, which is causing you to get frustrated and give up. If you can get on the same page. And you can help people to operate moving in the same direction, a great thing happens, you start to accomplish those things. Another piece about fostering unity is make sure that everybody understands the direction we're heading in. What is the vision? I remember this scene from The Godfather III, not the best in the series. But still, it's the Godfather, right? I'm Sicilian, what can I say? The head of the European real estate company tells Michael Corleone which by the way, my grandfather's from Corleone. And I get to actually say that on the show right there. My grandfather's from Corleone, my father's from Palermo. There we go. He says to Michael, he says our ships must all sail in the same direction. Otherwise, who can say how long your stay with us will last? Now I probably really should have done that with a good accent. But, guys, if we're not heading in the same direction, we obviously can't stay together. If you're leading a business, if you're leading a family, it does not matter. If we are not moving in the same direction, conflict is going to happen. Disunity is going to happen. Listen, let me speak to parents for a second. You do not-if you are a believer, even if you're not a believer, if you just have even halfway decent moral values. Do not cave to the cancel culture around you. Do not cave to people who are telling you, "You're a bad parent because you don't let your kid go playing 17 sports every week." Do not cave to the parent who tells you that you shouldn't give your child choices and concequences. Do not cave. Be unified in your parenting, be unified with your spouse, teach your kids; this is how we do things, this is the culture of our family, this is the core values of our family, this is the mission of our family. This is the way that we operate. So if your kids or spouse is moving away from this, we come back to the same destination. This is the direction we're moving in. We're all going this way. And if there's a problem, we will sit down and fix it, right? The only way that we're going to be on the same page is by spending quality time together. If you're going to be aligned, if you're going to go out to the same goals, if you're going to go out to the same destination, then you've got to understand spending time together as the only way that you're going to get there, you can't just tell somebody go that way. And expect that they continue, right? You can't just tell somebody in a staff meeting; this is how- this is the direction we're going in, we expect that you go this direction, and then you don't ever actually spend any time helping them out to make sure that they get there. So while you're heading in that same direction, do not forget to celebrate victories, do not forget to celebrate the wins along the way, have fun with it, enjoy it, utilize the opportunities to help your team see that because we're going in this unified direction, because we're doing things the same way, because we're going into the same goals, because we're doing the same process as before, because, because, because, because, what happens is, is you end up building trust in your team, you end up building trust in your family, you end up creating real, actual, quality, fellowship. Folks. This is where unity grows. Right here. Putting all of these pieces in place. This is what fosters actual unity. Right?


Chris LoCurto  32:18

So, if you're looking at the world around you, and you're thinking, "Maybe it's just not gonna happen." Don't worry about that. Start with what you have. Start with where you are. Start with your family. Leaders, start with your teams. Business owners, start with your-the business that you have right in front of you. Start putting all of these pieces in place, make sure that you're seeking to understand. Make sure that you're discovering what you can agree on, make sure that you're heading in the same direction. Help people to move in the same direction. Help people to understand. Help people to agree. If you will do these things, then unity becomes the next destination. Well, we're out of time for today, folks. As always, we hope this has helped you. We hope that you are taking this information, and not just using it at work, but using it in your family as well. We hope that you're sharing this with people so that they can experience unity as well. Do us a favor. If this is helping you, if you like the show, if you like the stuff that we teach, go and let us know. Go to iTunes, rank us, review us if you would even like to, that would be great. That helps us to help other people, who knows? Maybe this will be what creates unity in America. Okay, well, at least in a small portion of the world. So, take this information, gender leadership, change your business, change your life, and join us on the next episode.

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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.