Check your alignment to ensure a year of success

January 23, 2020
By Rowan Belchers

During the course of last year, I worked with a CEO who was oblivious to the fact that he was out of alignment with his global CEO. This mismatch was clear to others but not to him, and it impacted both his and the organisations’ performance. This year, he won’t make that same mistake.

In my experience, there are varying degrees of ‘alignment’. A minimum requirement is that you are shooting for the same numbers (revenue and profit) as your board/owners/shareholders/line manager.

One more degree of alignment would mean that you’re aligned on Strategy and aiming the business in the right direction.

And one further degree – and the alignment required for Optimal System Performance – is when trust is in place, where the tough conversations have been faced, and where direct feedback has been given and received.

At this greatest degree, you as a CEO can go about your work with surety, confidence and flow. – and probably without interference too.

Truthfully, it’s probably on your board/ownership/shareholders to initiate these engagements, but you don’t have the luxury of waiting. You have an entire year of endeavour ahead of you and it would be a crying shame if this endeavour is fruitless or misdirected.

So, reach out and check in – even if the question is a simple one:

  1. “Are you and I in a good place?”
  2. “Is there anything that we haven’t spoken about that we should have?”
  3. “My understanding of the most important priority this year is …?”
  4. “Is there anything more that you’d like to share with me?”

Remember that below the state of flow lies alignment and ‘flow’ is the working state that we should all be striving for.

Rowan Belchers

Rowan Belchers

Rowan Belchers is the founder and CEO of Lockstep, a business leadership consultancy. Lockstep works with CEO’s, executive teams and future leaders across the African continent, partnering with clients who seek customised leadership solutions. Rowan is a highly respected advisor to CEOs with over two decades’ experience in guiding businesses and their leaders towards reaching their fullest potential. Rowan leads The CEO Project, a Lockstep initiative.
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