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The Key to Alignment

| | General Leadership
The Key to Alignment

The mood was extremely tense. Forty leaders gathered in a room to address a crisis in their community. The meeting was closed to the press. There was a story to be told, but none of these leaders wanted to let the press turn an isolated incident into an indictment on their town.

We had two hours to get on the same page about how to handle the situation. History would definitely not have predicted a positive outcome.  It seemed unlikely this group could reach agreement about anything, let alone something so significant.  As one of the key players described it, this was a lions den.

Despite the odds this group did, indeed, come together.

Of course, the ultimate test of alignment is not in what people say, but rather what they do.  As the meeting came to a close and the doors were opened, the press descended on us. There were trucks, reporters and camera crews surrounding the building, But there was only one person questions were directed to by every single person in that meeting.

There was absolute alignment demonstrated that day.  There was only one statement to give to the press and it would only be given by the one man they chose to represent them.  Every single person in that meeting honored that commitment.

We all returned to business as usual the next day.  The people involved in the incident were left to deal with the fallout without outside interference.

However, one thing did change.  We all now knew it was possible, when it really counted, for these leaders to come together.

What was the key that allowed for such a large group to reach alignment so quickly?

The simple answer is this:

Alignment requires a clear and compelling shared commitment.  Not only does that commitment have to serve the greater good, but it also must be something that is worth investing in to the individuals involved. tweet this

In the heat of battle, unlikely people will often come together to face a common foe. While the catalyst for coming together in this situation was akin to a common foe, their alignment was driven by a shared commitment to sustaining the identity of a town they had all worked tirelessly to build despite their differences.

Think of a situation you are facing right now in which full alignment has not been achieved, and ask yourself this question: What commitment could be compelling enough to bring us together?

photo credit: The_Warfield

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  • The Key to Alignment | digitalNow | Scoop.it 04 October 2014, 04 October 2014

    […] The mood was extremely tense. Forty leaders gathered in a room to address a crisis in their community. The meeting was closed to the press. There was a story to be told, but none of these leaders w…  […]