Common ground is not mushy. Common Grounders™ seek solutions and progress that create a better future and opportunity. However, common ground alone is not enough. Common Grounders look toward a higher ground, and the higher ground is inspiring, purpose-focused, and principle-based. While common ground is the substance, just like peanut butter delivers the protein, the higher ground is the sweet mission, delivering fulfillment, just like the jelly enlivens each bite.

Common ground and higher ground are a well-seasoned combination. Without both, the middle gets muddled and ignored.

What Higher Ground Delivers?

Purpose View

Higher ground delivers a view of what we want to achieve and why it is important. Higher ground provides a purpose view with a strong dose of clarity and understanding. Without clarity of purpose, common ground remains seeds of possibility with no fertile soil to produce a harvest of achievement.

A result of common ground without purpose is the middle getting jammed by the two outer edges. Call it the right and left. Without a sense of direction toward a greater purpose, the edges stretch to a point of being out of step, and the middle gets left behind.

To keep the middle activated within your teams and organization, communicate a clear sense of purpose. Keeping centered in results that matter requires a purpose-engaged common ground.

Principles to Collaborate

Purpose requires principles. Think about having a purpose without sound principles on how to work together.

  • Stalled progress becomes the norm
  • Frustration rises
  • Self-centeredness and personal politics increase

Higher ground entails defining and using the principles of how to collaborate, decide, measure, and adapt. Without higher ground principles, we sink into a hole of stagnation and failure. Necessary principles include:

We need principles on how to resolve issues, solve problems, select an option, and work together through the good and bad.

To keep common ground, principles play a role in how we govern our work, relationships, and results.

Inspiration to Achieve Aspirations

Higher ground invokes thoughts of aspirations and being inspired to achieve and move forward. People want to be inspired to do more than what they are comfortable with, and people want to achieve more than what they may think is possible. As humans, we are built with an internal flame and a mission to create something better for the next generation. It is a mix of soul and purpose.

To ignite our inner work, inspiration is the fuel, and aspirations are the destination. A higher ground mentality puts into play both inspiration and aspiration, challenging the middle or common grounder to step up and do their best.

Good leaders know how to spark inspiration and raise aspirations.

Common ground and higher ground are a well-seasoned combination. Without both, leadership gets muddled.


Common Grounder Leaders: Embrace the Higher Ground

To lead as a Common Grounder, we need to understand the role of the higher ground and use it in a meaningful way. Without the right blend of common ground and higher ground, the middle collapses, and we end up with extremes and stalemate. Our future cannot afford this result, so we need to tap into our inner leadership and combine the two grounds to reach better heights and achieve real progress.

Companies that understand the role of common and higher ground survive the down times and thrive in the up times. In many cases, with the right focus on higher ground, businesses will pull out of the down times faster than those that do not.

No different in our politics. Leaders that understand the importance of the middle and greater purpose will succeed in a legacy-defining way. Extremes resonate only with the disenchanted, and the disenchanted grew because of leaders ignoring the middle.

Business and political leaders need to find their inner Common Grounder ideals and principles and combine them with a renewed focus and vision of a higher ground.

The Common Grounder challenge: Define and communicate the higher ground clearly and frequently and energize the middle again.


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Common Grounder

To be an effective leader as a Common Grounder, developing a higher ground mindset and approach is essential. A combination of common ground and higher ground make a positive impact.