In any elite sporting team, success comes from the strong relationships that are forged through two factors:

  • Everyone striving for the same goal, and
  • Everyone needing each other to achieve that goal

It’s the same in business. Even the most visionary CEO armed with dynamic business strategies is only as strong as his or her team. An aligned senior leadership team is everything and drives success by:

  • Making sure everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing and why
  • Giving everyone an opportunity to feel a sense of ownership
  • Uniting and exciting everyone around a vision

Common purpose

In terms of growth planning, unless the leadership team collectively agrees on the target, how can you be certain of hitting the bulls-eye?

Only by getting the leadership team unified around growth goals and identifying the best strategies to follow can you hope to achieve them.

In very simple terms, a leadership team is aligned when all members of the team work in sync to accomplish a common purpose. While that sounds easy enough, all too often, alignment is elusive.

Big challenge

In fact, some time ago Fortune magazine published a classic article called “Why CEO’s Fail”. In it, they estimated that:

about 70% of CEO failures are caused not by flawed strategic thinking, but by failure to execute”

Even today not much has changed. According to MIT researcher Donald Sull, failure to align is the single greatest challenge that global CEOs face for executing their company’s strategies.

Learn from Rio

In sporting terms, think about how Brazil, the world’s greatest football nation was humbled and humiliated on their own soil in the 2014 FIFA World Cup as their German opponents delivered a crushing 7-1 defeat.

While Brazil fielded a team of superstars, for them, it seemed to be a platform to show off individual talents rather than a team all aiming for the same prize.

Germany win world cup

Aligning Strategy and Sales by Frank Cespedes (Harvard Business School)

Critical importance of strategy execution by Rob Lambert (Cranfield School of Management)

Align Diagnostic

So when it comes to corporate leadership, building a strong and effective team begins by aligning the team around the goals the organisation needs to achieve and creating your value proposition. When companies are truly aligned, all employees can perform at the highest level.

Ongoing process

But it’s not a set and forget exercise. It’s a dynamic, ongoing process, and one that requires continual monitoring and realigning as needs change.

How confident are you that your team is aligned with your vision for 2016?

Find out now with our AlignDiagnostic tool . It takes just minutes to complete, but can give you lasting guidance in the year ahead.

Start Align Diagnostic

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