Without Vision, People Perish

We use the words alignment and agreement, inter-changeably. You can be in agreement but not in alignment, or you can be in alignment and have disagreements. How is this possible?
 
Alignment occurs when 1 or more people commit to fulfilling a vision, providing participants the opportunity to evaluate progress, agree or disagree on methods, and co-create strategies to support the fulfillment of a vision. Alignment fosters partnerships. 
 
More importantly, when we're in alignment to something bigger than ourselves (our egos) we have the opportunity to stop the blame game. By recognizing or being reminded that we're on the same team, united to a shared cause or purpose, we can simply keep adjusting our performance and behaviors, refining our actions so that we and fellow team members can stay the course.  
 
Agreements imply understanding or compatibility around an issue but without the shared vision to support us we often go for the jugular when we disagree.
 
The good and bad news about alignments or alliances is that they work when we remember to rely upon them and they don't work when we've forgotten or ignored them. 
 
When things are going well, we often lose sight of the vision. Why? Things are going well. When the path we're on is rocky, unfamiliar or unknown, it's crucial to call on the vision for stability. 
 
This week why not look at your partnerships to see how well you're holding the vision. If there is one area at work or at home that is prickly, creating lots of stress, ask if the unhappiness is due to a loss or lack of alignment to a shared vision. Pull the vision statement out of the top drawer. Re-kindle your commitment by communicating with your partner(s) about what moved you to align in the first place.

Posted on June 25, 2013 and filed under June 2013.