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Creating True Team Alignment

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in Remarkable Leadership with Kevin

Last week in this space, I wrote about the importance of seeing opportunity in your team and what you can do to help your team see opportunities as well. I ended by telling you that the way to create that opportunity view was by creating a definiteness of purpose across all members of your team.

Then I promised I would say more about how to create that is week.

If I could give you just one suggestion it would be to: Discuss organizational whys.

If we want to generate additional ideas and opportunities, we need more people’s radar on the lookout for these opportunities. And when people understand the purpose or “the why” of the business, the unit, the department or the team, they are more likely to:

  • Turn on their radar
  • Hone their radar to find the right types of opportunities.

Without a clear and mutually shared purpose, we can get the shiny object syndrome — where people see things that look exciting or interesting, but may not truly be opportunities for growth and expansion of the purpose. (And this can happen even if they have turned on their personal radar, but it hasn’t been adjusted correctly.)

So how do we do it? How do we create “definiteness of purpose” for our team?

Here are three steps to help you develop that common mind and collective consciousness.

  1. Create ongoing conversation about the purpose of the organization and the team. Make the purpose of those conversations to further refine and clarify the role of the team in the service of the overall mission of the organization. Make sure that individual team members have a crystal clear understanding of what the ultimate purpose of the business is. As you help people see this noble purpose, it creates meaning and momentum in their work.
  2. Make it a standard topic of discussion. If you are having meetings and purpose isn’t being discussed, why not? It should be a pervasive part of the work and the conversation — guiding people directly and indirectly to understand the business purpose better.
  3. Run decisions through the purpose. Help team members take overall purpose into account when considering all solutions and decisions. Make questions about purpose a standard part of the decision making process.

Notice that the first step is about clarity and the third step is about implementation. The second step is a powerful combination of the two.

When you get people in alignment with purpose, the alignment of specific goals and strategies will come much easier, but perhaps more importantly, when this clarity and meaning is achieved, the perspective of every team member will shift from “opportunity is nowhere” to “opportunity is now here.”

When you get your team to this place, magical results will ensue.

Remarkable Principle: Remarkable leaders know that creating greater alignment does more than raise productivity; it unleashes opportunities previously unseen and unimaginable.

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