Fall In

Fall In. That command once bellowed by a drill sergeant decades ago still elicits a nano-second physical and mental reaction:  stop any and everything that you are doing now and get into formation.  Rigid.  Still.  Silent.

There is a corporate version: “Let’s get the team aligned on X.”  What does that mean exactly?  What are the execution steps here?  Yeah, it’s a huge, grey cumulonimbus cloud for sure.  Turns out the dictionary is partly to blame:

align:

  1. to bring into line

Translation often in action:  Follow.  Blend in.  Homogenize.  Abandon your edges.  Eyes forward.  Look the same.  Don’t deviate.  Desensitize.  There is one way and the path has been decided.  “I want to make sure we are aligned on this.”  I want to make sure you understand what is at risk if you do not follow.

2.   to ally (oneself) with a group or cause

Translation too infrequently in action:  Join / build a tribe of like-minded, passionate talent around a defined purpose.  Share the “why”.  Bring your gifts.  Leverage the multiplicative effect of “us”.  When it gets rough, help us navigate and see possibilities.  We expect you to lead, too.

 

Align. 5 little letters.  Different trails and outcomes.

 

Get in line” … and stay or “Get our why”… and GO!

 

Which trail are you blazing, Leaders?

 

 

 

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