Alignment

“Over time, people get distracted, bored, or they develop their own agendas.  It isn’t necessarily anybody’s fault when this happens; it is just a fact of team life.  You need a measure of alignment among your team members if you are going to deliver on your vision.”
- Andy Stanley “Visioneering”

Apollo 13 astronauts, recanting their perilous journey, talk about the incredibly small window they had to pass through to make it back to earth.  Virtually no margin of error existed.  Jim Lovell says that being just one degree off in their reentry calculations would have resulted in missing the earth by tens of thousands of miles.

Marriages are no different.  Over decades, couples on different courses personally, can end up miles apart.  With the principal work of raising their children accomplished, they often wake up laying next to someone they don’t have very much in common with and barely know.

We find the same with leadership teams.  Different motives, experiences, and interpretations result in different priorities.  Without a clear and inspired destination for everyone to shoot for that is… 

  • Clarified
  • Discussed
  • Celebrated
  • & Regularly course directed back toward

…misalignment is a likely conclusion

Cars naturally move toward misalignment as well.  As sophisticated as the balancing equipment is that we use to keep our tires rolling in the same direction, they drift apart.  The vehicle doesn’t roll as efficiently and the cost comes in mileage, wear-an-tear on the car, and portions of tires getting worn out faster than others.  

Misalignment is costly for tires and teams.

To assume that our teams or marriages would fall back into alignment on their own is as unlikely as thinking our car hitting a pothole that would somehow magically jolt it back into alignment.  It just doesn’t happen like that.

So, how do you know if a team member is out of alignment?

  • They move toward control rather than serving one another.
  • They manipulate to further their own agenda.
  • They are unwilling to resolve differences face-to-face.
  • They are unwilling to believe the best about their teammates.
  • They focus on personal success rather than team success.

What do you do if you team is out of alignment?

  • Assemble your leadership team & work on organizational health.
  • Write or recast your values and purpose.
  • Create a vision of those values and purpose lived into the future.
  • Create goals/initiatives to help you realize that vision.
  • Assign ownership to those initiatives.
  • Develop a meeting rhythm with that team.
  • Assist in their accomplishment, hold them accountable, celebrate their success.

Allow this roadmap and the process it creates to drive you toward increasing alignment and the realization of a greater future for you and your team.

  • Has your team gotten out of alignment?
  • Are you experiencing any of the signs listed above?
  • What do you think it is costing you in terms of wear-and-tear, efficiency, and wearing some team members out?
  • Are you really interested in changing things?