I don’t know of a more important topic under the umbrella of leadership than team alignment. When your team understands and pursues the same goal while adhering to the same rules of engagement, you have alignment. When you’re aligned, your odds of success dramatically increase.
I bought a 1965 Mustang in 1979. It was a fixer for sure. Among many other problems, the front end was out of alignment. As a result, it wore the tires, got horrible gas mileage, and shook like crazy at certain speeds. Bottom-line, the car could not go very fast and was dangerous.
That’s what happens when your front end is out of alignment and that’s what happens when your team is out of alignment. When your car or your team is in alignment, you can go faster, get better mileage, reduce wear and tear, and get where you want to go in one piece!
Here’s why alignment is difficult:
- Clarity. Most team members have their own interpretation of the goal and how to get there. Without collaboration and clarification, this leads to chaos.
- Coaching. Tasks, deadlines, and customer needs rule the day. It’s what we call Tyranny of the Urgent. Alignment requires constant coaching as well as dedicated and purposeful space reinforcing goals and values.
- Care. Leaders experience alignment fatigue. Like marriage, leadership is about constant edification. Leaders MUST learn how to care for themselves and approach their work in a very intentional manner that brings refreshment to both the leader and the team.
To learn more about team alignment and how Jim answers the “But how do we get ourselves aligned?” question, you may also want to read the Aligning Your Team blog. Go check it out!
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