You can tell your car is out of alignment when it pulls away from the center line. How can you tell when you’re out of alignment as a leader? My clients tell me they don’t feel aligned when they make a decision that supports the financial health of the business but damages the trust they worked hard to build with their team. Or when they are too quick to trust their gut without rationally examining the options. It’s easier to stay on the right road when we align our head, our gut and our heart.
What is Your Leadership Model?
The first step toward alignment is defining who you want to be as a leader. In his book The Blueprint: 6 Practical Steps to Lift Your Leadership to New Heights, Doug Conant explains the importance of building your own leadership model. Your model might be inspired by others but it must align with your values, beliefs and competencies.
Whose Story are You Living?
Conant’s journey on the road to aligning his head, gut and heart required owning his story rather than the story someone else had in mind for him. This shift enabled Conant to turn around Campbell Soup Company by boldly making tough decisions and honoring the successes of individual employees. Campbell’s employee engagement went from the worst to the best in the Fortune 500 but it took ten years. Conant fulfilled his promise to “win in the workplace before we can win in the marketplace.”
If you’re feeling off-center, I invite you to take a deep breath and imagine aligning your head, gut and heart.
- What is the first thing you would do?
- What obstacles might prevent you from doing that?
- How can you manage those obstacles?
- Who will hold you accountable?