Why Alignment is so Important to Leader Design
Aligning with your priorities and how you’ve been designed will be your highest ROI as a growing leader.
Leadership begins by identifying our priorities, what really matters in life. As you continue your journey, you must evaluate if the areas of your life are in alignment with those priorities.
If someone was watching your actions and words, what would they identify as your priorities? What about when nobody is watching? What priorities do your actions demonstrate?
Do you have someone with a good view of your life who will be honest with you? Ask them to identify your top three priorities based just on the actions they see from you.
If you don’t have someone like this, start a journal reviewing each day how your actions demonstrate or contradict your priorities. Be honest, nobody will read your journal, and you’re only deceiving yourself if you’re not honest.
Internal misalignment will eat you from the inside out.
Over time, go back and review how you’re doing.
Is there an area where you’re staying well aligned to your priority? Celebrate this!
Is there an area where you’re struggling to stay aligned? Look for what needs to change. Invite someone to help you make this change.
It can be hard to objectively identify where we are or aren’t aligned. But sometimes we can sense it intuitively. Consider these questions:
- What do others notice first about you as a leader?
- How do others describe your leadership?
- When does leadership feel effortless?
Let’s lean in closer to that third question. Recall if you have ever led a meeting, project or workshop and felt like, “I was made for this, I could do this all day long.”
We’ve all been designed with unique drives and strengths. Two of the best tools for identifying these are
- Strengths Finder. Now called CliftonStrengths, Gallup’s tool helps you identify your top strengths to develop into true talents.
- Predictive Index. The PI identifies drives, which predicts your behavior. It helps you see identify the type of work that feels effortless. This can be applied both to your own leadership as well as those you lead.
Take time to discover and build on these. Aligning both with your priorities and how you’ve been designed will be your highest ROI as a growing leader.
As a leader, alignment with our priorities can’t be restricted to only one area of our life. If I lead at work but not at home, it’s going to create issues.
Alignment needs to span the domains of our life. Internal misalignment will eat you from the inside out.
Aligning both with your priorities and how you’ve been designed will be your highest ROI as a growing leader.
If you discover this misalignment, take some time to identify what is causing it. As you spend time for self-reflection, look at the misaligned are, and ask questions like:
- Is there something I’m afraid of driving this behavior?
- Is there something I’m trying to control?
Leading others starts with leading ourselves and taking ownership of each area in our life.
Leading is not the same as being in control. Sometimes what we need to gain alignments is to submit ourselves to the leadership of another. This isn’t passivity or indifference. I’m talking about leading ourselves by willful yielding to another out of love and respect.
How do we grow in alignment and leading ourselves? Here are some questions for you to reflect on…
- What’s my greatest strength I can build on?
- How can I help those I lead identify their priorities, strengths or drives to increase the effectiveness of our team?
- Who could serve as a mentor or coach to help me grow in alignment to my priorities and strengths?
Our growth in alignment leads to the next design element of leadership, proximity.
Instead of scaling goals up, you want to scale our priorities down.
Wondering how to identify your priorities? Try my 5 day priorities challenge on everyday.design where I explore how to design think your everyday life.
Want help taking the next step in your leadership? Book a free discovery session and we'll explore your leadership journey together.