Uniting for a Common Cause

By | September 13, 2021

[September 13, 2021]  It has been written repeatedly among those who study leadership that one of their most sought-after characteristics is the ability to unite people for a common cause. Such a rare capability is desirable in the obvious but requires great strength of courage, broad experience, and wisdom. To unite is the epitome of greatness.

“Divide and rule, the politician cries; unite and lead is the watchword of the wise.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – German writer and statesman

Of course, many examples throughout written history demonstrate that people can be united in a cause that is catastrophic and even perhaps evil.  Hitler and Mao Zedong immediately come to mind.

Causes that inspire can be either good or bad.  But to rally folks to something good requires extraordinary effort and extreme skill in a leader.  As such, it is indeed rare to find it within any leader.

Senior leaders who can unite people for a common cause are sought after for their talent and their results.  As we watch the United States and its recent political one-upmanship game, our nation has become more divided than ever.  This is a failure in leadership.

An ideological example is Socialism.  It is beautiful sounding emotionally but is inherently about dividing society and pitting one against another. Along with its variants, Socialism is an ideology based on the notion that people are oppressed and the strongest way to ensure victory for them is to unite and rebel against those at the top. Historically it has failed and caused unimaginable death and misery (see my notes on Socialism here and here).

Suppose we observe each of the U.S. presidential candidates in the last election. In that case, we can educate ourselves in those talking about bringing people together and making a better America versus those who speak of pitting one segment of society against another. Students of leadership would do themselves a favor by re-watching those debates and speeches to see whether they were uniting people.

Senior leaders must possess the ability to unite people for a common (and good) cause. Even when leaders cannot bring people together, it is imperative that they consciously embrace the ideas of unity and work hard to improve that trait in themselves. Otherwise, failure awaits. Great leaders are distinguished from all others by this characteristic alone.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

17 thoughts on “Uniting for a Common Cause

  1. Crowder Z

    Hey, Sir, just discovered your blog. Great. The best. I’m a fan.
    ……… and a patriot too, like you!
    😳

    Reply
  2. McStompie

    Excellent article, once again, Gen. Satterfield. Keep these coming our way.

    Reply
  3. Max Foster

    A close look at the last American election will tell us a lot and not just about who divides our nation but also about the ultimate character of those who ran. Gen. Satterfield gave us a good breakdown on the leadership of Biden and Trump. Trump won hands down. And, Trump drew enormous crowds. Biden could barely draw a few journalists, yet the election was won by Biden. This is a real problem and someone needs to figure out what to do. That will not be Biden, because he is an old man with severe dementia and it is getting worse.

    Reply
  4. Harry Donner

    “Of course, many examples throughout written history demonstrate that people can be united in a cause that is catastrophic and even perhaps evil. Hitler and Mao Zedong immediately come to mind.” Add Joe Biden to this list.

    Reply
  5. benrhodesatDOS

    Gen. Satterfield, another great article that hits at the core of leadership. More people should be paying attention.

    Reply
  6. Erleldech

    So, what do you do when most people in the US vote for someone due to their skin color (Barack Obama) or background (George Bush)? Huh? What to do? Educate Educate Educate. But sadly our education system is full of full blown Marxists, so this will not happen for a long time.

    Reply
  7. Jeff Blackwater

    Excellent, put it all together. As humans, we know what you’ve written is true. It is wisdom across the ages. But also there are so many stupid people that they are constantly pulled to the side that is the most divisive. Yet, in schools we kowtow to them and eliminate academic standards to appease the stupid. Why? Are we the crazy ones?

    Reply
      1. Frank Graham

        We don’t have the balls to stand up to dividers like Biden and his ilk. The US will crash before we finally get the balls to do something about “leaders” like him.

        Reply
      2. American Girl

        I’m all in for America but I’m not for feeding the world’s castoffs. Hey, I agree with you guys. Oh, and thank you Gen. Satterfield for another spot on blog.

        Reply
          1. Gordon G22

            Welcome Tik Tok.
            Go USA
            Go USA
            🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

  8. Autistic Techie

    Well done, Gen. Satterfield. Let’s be frank, this is about non-president Biden and his divisive administration. He is dividing the nation so his radicals can conquer it. And, we are letting him do it.

    Reply
    1. Yusaf from Texas

      Yep, sadly so. And yet we cannot see it happening right in our face.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.