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Leadership Skill Drill: Alignment with Corporate Vision and Mission
“Building a visionary company requires one percent vision and 99 percent alignment.” – Jim Collins and Jerry Porra
Whenever your actions do not align with your purpose, you experience personal strife, discomfort, and discontent. You cannot be fully invested in something if the vision is misaligned with your internal values. This also holds true for leaders who find it impossible to align themselves with the vision and mission of their organization.
Personal alignment is an essential building block of motivation and engagement.
As I have made it clear in my book, Intelligent Leadership, the leader’s alignment with organizational vision is a powerful driver of individual and team performance, as well as organizational performance.
The Leader’s Alignment with Organizational Vision
Leaders misaligned with the goals and mission of their organization are not suitable to lead, regardless of their leadership skills. Such misalignment can occur as a result of leadership immaturity or simply because the leader has felt a “parting of ways” based on changes that have been made within the company.
Some people do not possess the moral strength to resist an easy way out when faced with a difficult decision. Leaders who succumb to the lure of profits, prestige, and comfort are immature.
Immaturity is also to blame when leaders hold others responsible for their misalignment. An executive may complain about his or her employees while avoiding difficult conversations with them. This is a clear-cut example of misplaced blame stemming from immaturity.
Other times, leadership misalignment can stem from a conjuncture, such as a change in company ownership and the introduction of a new, untenable vision by the new owners.
Recognizing an internal misalignment is relatively easy. And there are only two ways leaders can attempt to correct it. One is to admit that the old vision no longer suits their actions and to replace it with a new one, if acceptable. The other is to tweak what they are doing to realign their leadership skills with the original vision.
Employees’ Alignment with Organizational Vision
Internal alignment with organizational vision is paramount for leaders, but it is just as important for employees.
According to a Gallup report, some 70 percent of Americans are disengaged from their work and thus harm economic growth.
This sad state of affairs is a telltale sign of an endemic lack of alignment with organizational goals among employees.
From the intelligent leader’s perspective, the remedy to this problem is a three-step one.
- Defining and communicating a vision gives people direction—direction seasoned with assumptions about what they can accomplish. A well-communicated vision unites people and offers a purpose for teams as well as individuals. This vision is the source of the goals that will drive immediate progress and development.
- Alignment starts with excitement for the vision and brings people together in pursuit of common goals. It also provides a forum for exchanging ideas and for devising plans. Those who align themselves with the organizational vision share psychological ownership of goals and become more engaged and motivated.
Alignment is a powerful driver of motivation.
- Execution provides proof that the vision is actionable, which gives people a sense of achievement and eventually allows them to fulfill the promise of the vision.
Tying realistic and actionable goals to the vision of the individual employee level is an effective driver of employee alignment. Having relevant goals aligned with the company vision helps your employees find satisfaction in their work and become more personally aligned with your company vision.
There is a reason why leadership development stresses the importance of clear communication and transparency.
You have to be transparent to lead by example. To make your employees understand how their goals tie into the company vision, you need to be a master communicator.
Are you looking to improve your in-house leadership development program? Check out my leadership coaching services.