“Creating Leadership Alignment” is based upon my real-world experience facilitating leadership teams at Harvard, IBM, even small “Mom and Pop” shops. It’s not rocket science but can be rocket execution if implemented. The “IF” rests in your hands. Whatever the size and level of sophistication of your organization, leadership alignment is created by:
1. Clearly Articulating Goals and Interdependencies. Help set and clearly articulate the organizations big goal(s), and how your piece of the organization drives/supports those goal(s).
2. Allowing GENUINE “HASHOUT” SESSIONS. Get underneath politics and create forums – formal and informal ways to surface questions, concerns or conflicts. You WANT conflict to surface. This way you know the team is engaged and really addressing any differences, which are inevitable. Leadership alignment is easier to detect when you know what misalignment looks/feels like. This is the step that often gets glossed-over, but the wise leader goes slow to go fast. Time spent here will help the rest happen, and more smoothly.
3. Engendering Ownership of Goals. This is a natural outcome when step 2 is done with integrity. You own the big picture completely so you step up to how you need to effect the desired outcomes.
4. ACCOUNTABILITY! This step often is not thoroughly implemented. It’s about having candid conversations as a leadership team – how you explicitly hold your collective feet to the fire. It comes down to this basic truth: What gets measured/assessed happens.
5. Implementing Consequences. This is the sister to accountability. If the behavior is contrary to the talk, then there has to be ramifications or things won’t change. Often no one wants to do this “real” but critical work. If you are the top dog, it’s ensuring you model the way. Not always pleasant, but then you are the leader! 🙂
6.CELEBRATING! In our driven business culture too often it’s “on to the next agenda…” without stopping and celebrating…better yet, reflecting on and codifying why you were successful. This provides validation, recognition, renewal, fosters greater commitment and potentials a repeat performance.
Copyright 2009 Sage Leadership Strategies, LLC www.sagelead.com