Company culture is a direct reflection of its leadership. When an Executive Team is on the same page about moving forward to resolve issues, reach objectives, and communicate these solutions effectively, harmony ensues and permeates throughout the organization. Mastery of this alliance is evident in the way in which small groups or departments mirror the collaborative methods displayed by the leaders. They in turn, thoughtfully collaborate in a concerted effort to support the achievement of the clearly defined and communicated collective company goals. It is symbiotic. This is Leadership Alignment excellence at work, and it is essential. In its absence, a company will find it quite difficult to thrive.
What is leadership alignment?
A leadership team is aligned when members unite on issues that must be resolved, actions that must be taken and objectives that must be reached to move their team, business unit, department or company forward.
Leadership Alignment Eases Change
In business, change is constant. We must deliberately work to stay aligned. It is an ongoing task. When issues arise that impact people outside of your team, and it reaches other leaders/managers/executives on your peer team, having an established culture of alignment will help everyone stay objective and solutions-oriented through the difficult conversations. If there is strategic change to a policy or procedure, communication protocols established through leadership alignment ensure that the changes are communicated effectively. When a strategic decision is made that impacts the day-to-day workflow, in addition to roles and responsibilities, it is important that leaders are aligned in the execution of the revised plans. Lastly, when a meeting is needed to align on issues, resolutions, actions, decisions, and strategy, it is imperative that everyone involved is able to leave in agreement of supporting the decision and that support must be reflected and promoted when sharing with your team.
Communication is Essential to Effective Application of Leadership Alignment
Alignment is like trust. It is fluid with ebbs and flows of approval and challenge from all parties involved, from the leadership team to employees. If leaders are not able to speak with one voice regarding decisions, employees are keenly aware of the division felt through the office climate. On the other hand, when leaders do come into alignment, there may be employees and/or clients that are frustrated with the decision made. Group buy-in and support is imperative at every level of the team to reach company goals. Otherwise any dissension can immediately halt forward movement. How do team members reach leadership alignment in the midst of an ever-evolving and emotionally-charged work environment? The most powerful tools are awareness and effective communications through active listening.
Take time to get feedback from employees. However, only do this if you plan to communicate what you’re learning from the feedback and what you will do with what you learned. To transform the experience of the workplace and change attitudes and behaviors, you must demonstrate evidence that you have learned and you have applied that learning to what you’re working on individually and what teams are working on cooperatively.
We’re Aligned. Now What?
Change is constant in business and leaders should continuously be working toward alignment. Knowing this, it’s very important to have a process in place to determine how leadership should behave and conduct themselves while working toward alignment. Tools like 360 Leadership Assessment and 1:1 Leadership Coaching can help the team assess their current potential for alignment. Based on feedback themes and goals, an improvement plan can be created to achieve desired outcomes.
Leadership Alignment Matters
When an issue emerges that is happening across multiple business units, departments, and teams, leaders often find a tendency to not meet and align in resolving the issue. Without alignment, however, it is human tendency inside of organizations to personalize issues, then project them onto other individuals and areas outside of the leader’s individual responsibilities. Leadership alignment is a solution. It ensures leaders have a time to come together, work toward reaching a point where everyone is able to leave in agreement of supporting the decision, and go out into the organization to champion the decisions amongst their employees and the people that they communicate with. Aligned leaders make a strong team that is unified and most effective in achieving its goals.