I don’t want a balanced life. I want an aligned life.
You want the wheels on your car aligned. When the wheels are even a little bit out of alignment, the ride is uncomfortable, the wear on tires and other parts goes up, and the vehicle works less efficiently. When the wheels are critically out of alignment the ride is unbearable, and your safety is at risk.
When things that matter in your business and your life are not in alignment:
- there is conflict and discomfort;
- you, or your business, use more energy than you need to, and even risk grinding to a halt;
- the moving parts of your life and your organization are at risk
When the important things are in alignment, you move smoothly, efficiently, and sustainably.
What is it that has to line up for you to be happy or your business successful? The answer is found on two planes or in two layers:
- The fundamentals. Your values and your vision. Your financial resources, human resources, brand, and operations.
- The details. The more you can make every part of everything you do reinforce the direction and momentum of every other part, the more successful you will be.
Success Is Alignment
The more I think about this perspective the more I am convinced it is the most productive way to define success.
I am happy when that which I expect and that which occurs lines up. When our hopes, faith, desires, wishes and needs are met or exceeded, we are happy. Buddhism has a valuable perspective: when seeking that alignment, rather than trying to focus on the “what occurs” part, they would suggest focusing on the “what I expect” part. This is logical, as we have greater control over our expectations than over what happens.
On the business level, the alignment is the most important way to measure success.
Failure is Business Out of Alignment
Failure is a critical lack of alignment. History, habits, resources, skills, or values are not in alignment with what is wanted. On the detail levels, things like the treatment of employees is not aligned with desired behaviours; investments in resources are not aligned with stated goals; the values and spirit of an organization slide out of alignment with their customers.
Focus Fixes Your Vision, Alignment Gets You There
We often say that success in business is about focus. That is true, if by focus you mean keeping your eye on an ultimate objective at all times. Alignment just takes that one step further: if focus is relentlessly working towards that one objective, alignment ensures that everything that is required to get there contributes smoothly, efficiently, and sustainably to that one single outcome.
I help businesses and organizations get the mix right. People and systems working together to produce remarkable results. Check out my website to learn about the different ways I can support your organization.
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