Monday, July 28, 2014

Alignment vs. Control

As strategic leaders think and act, they understand something that is critical to their short and long term success, namely the difference between control based leadership and alignment based leadership.

Control based leadership focuses on, for the most part, maintaing status quo. These leaders want to get something done and then get things back to “normal.”  Through fear, intimidation and positional dominance, they can generate forward momentum, but it does not result in people being resilient, adaptable or creative.

On the other hand, alignment based strategic leaders understand that organizational change, people and the future are dynamic. Rather than controlling people, these leaders want all involved to stay true to the mission and the core values of the organization. This is the focus of all they do because they recognize that people will fundamentally support and co-create the future when they have a voice and ownership in the process. Alignment based leadership is a solutions and clarity based approach to all that is going on. 

While I value order and predictability in daily operations, strategic leaders focus on constant alignment within the strategic nexus, i.e. the sum of the mission, vision and core values plus the strategic plan. They know this will create long term commitment to building on new opportunities and being adaptable to change. They recognize that culture and strategy are inter-connected.

This week, talk with your team about the importance of alignment. It has the capacity to generate greater clarity, commitment and connection to what is most important in the work that they do.

Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257

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