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Work of Leaders:ALIGNMENT


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Part two of the Work of Leaders model of Vision, Alignment, and Execution. Use with Everything DiSC Work of Leaders training.

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Work of Leaders:ALIGNMENT

  1. 1. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Activities for Everything DiSC® Work of Leaders | vision | | ALIGNMNENT| | execution | DiSC® is a registered trademark of Everything DiSC, a Wiley Brand.
  2. 2. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Source model Work of Leaders (Everything DiSC profile and book)
  3. 3. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Alignment “Building alignment is the act of gaining buy-in for your vision and it’s absolutely critical in moving from imagination to reality.”
  4. 4. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Alignment Building alignment means ensuring that each and every person understands his or her role in making the vision a reality.
  5. 5. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT How would you score? Our leader …  gives enough detail to clarify what’s expected.  makes sure we all understand a difficult topic/procedure.  fully forms his/her thoughts before communicating.  stays focused; doesn’t go off on tangents.
  6. 6. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Photo source: “The less people know, the more they yell.” —Seth Godin
  7. 7. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Alignment tip: Provide clarity
  8. 8. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT “The key to inspiring the organization is to do internally what marketing does best externally: create irresistible messages and programs that get everyone on board.” – Marc de Swaan Aron, Frank van den Driest, and Keith Weed The Ultimate Marketing Machine, Harvard Business Review
  9. 9. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” Cool Hand Luke It’s not easy.
  10. 10. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT “I can be incredibly focused, and I can appear impatient. So I’ve learned to slow down, get to know people and provide more context. There’s nothing wrong with getting to the point pretty quickly, but it’s also helpful to give people an opportunity to talk about their work.” – Lynn Good CEO and President, Duke Energy
  11. 11. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT “… one thing drove my success: the effort I put into synthesizing all the messages coming out of a company into one strong story line. … Today, companies can no longer assume that inconsistencies in their stories will go unnoticed.” – Steve Girsky GM Vice Chairman Many Stakeholders, One Story, Harvard Business Review
  12. 12. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Do you need help explaining your rationale? Offer Explain intuition rationale For the purpose of creating alignment, you’ll be more successful moving towards the behavior on the right.
  13. 13. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT “When you don’t make the time to explain why you made your decision, people will often assume the worst all on their own: that you’re detached, dumb, or don’t care.” – Jim Whitehurst CEO, Red Hat Be a Leader Who Can Admit Mistakes, Harvard Business Review
  14. 14. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Explaining your rationale • Discuss ways to get beyond “because I said so” and “isn’t it obvious.” • How can you make your decision process more transparent? • How can you tell when you’ve explained enough?
  15. 15. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT How do you structure your messages? Impromptu Structured For the purpose of creating alignment, you’ll be more successful moving towards the behavior on the right.
  16. 16. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Try it: Structuring your messages • What’s your headline? • What are your talking points? • Do you have a story to illustrate your message? • Are there images, photos, charts that could amplify your message? • How do your actions reinforce your message?
  17. 17. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Evaluate your messages • What messages are circulating now? (yours or others) • You might be sick of repeating your message, but are others tired of hearing it? • Do they need to hear it again another way? • Can they repeat it in their own way?
  18. 18. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Exchanging perspectives “The factor that had the highest correlation with job satisfaction was “a chance to have my opinions heard and considered.’”
  19. 19. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Present Exchange Information Perspectives Challenging Receptive Dialogue Where do you generally fall? Dialogue Where do you generally fall? Dialogue Where do you generally fall? Dialogue Where do you generally fall? For the purpose of creating alignment, you’ll be more successful moving towards the behavior on the right.
  20. 20. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Being receptive “But results-oriented leaders are often those who struggle the most with the receptivity needed to gain alignment. It’s really hard to be challenging and receptive at the same time.”
  21. 21. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Dialogue questions • How do you prove your receptivity, your willingness to listen to other ideas? • Is your door really open? • Are you easy to find, schedule a meeting with? • Do you check in with only a few people? • How do you prove that you’re listening or have heard and understood?
  22. 22. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Strategies • Hold open forums or create other safe spaces. • Give people enough time to gather their thoughts. • Go face-to-face, enter another’s space. • Management by walking around (MBWA) • Watch your body language. • Use active listening signals.
  23. 23. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Inverse Q & A Audience not engaging in your Q&As? Questions not relevant? People tuning out? Try these tactics. • Pose a question to your audience and allow them to discuss it with their neighbors. • Ask people come up with questions in groups. Give them the opportunity to choose their best and then share those with you. Adapted from “ 4 Ways to Fix the Q&A Session” by Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg.
  24. 24. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Align across silos “The strongest design work is done by integrated teams. … In order to create great products and build brands with a unique point of view, that point of view needed to come from strategy…but it also needed to be fused across multiple disciplines.” —— Yves Béhar, Fuseproject “Better Business by Design,” Entrepreneur
  25. 25. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Matter-of-fact Encouraging Reserved Expressive Inspiration Where do you generally fall? For the purpose of creating alignment, you’ll be more successful moving towards the behavior on the right.
  26. 26. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” - Zig Ziglar author of Born to Win motivational speaker Image by United States Army.
  27. 27. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Show me, tell me. • Why are you excited about this vision or change? • How will it make my life better, the world better? • What can go right? • What might the future look like?
  28. 28. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Being expressive “Being expressive isn’t grandstanding or hollow charm.” Image source:
  29. 29. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Encourage me • Are you proactive in giving positive feedback, showing your belief in the abilities of your staff? • What’s your team’s rallying cry? • Remember your lessons from DiSC: what motivates you might not encourage me.
  30. 30. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT “It’s one thing to come up with an innovative idea, but it’s another thing to make that idea seem less terrifying, burdensome, or impossible to achieve.” - Whitney Johnson co-founder of Rose Park Advisors Image by .Martin.
  31. 31. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT “CEOs have to provide leadership in various ways. Like architects, they must lay out a vision. Like engineers, they worry about making things run efficiently. But above all, they must recognize their people’s desire to build great things, and work with that creative energy.” – Edward E. Nusbaum CEO of Grant Thornton
  32. 32. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Try it: Create the message A. Your own message or vision. B. Staff cuts will be made in the next quarter in your unit/company. C. We’re a company that puts the customer first. D. Innovation is our top priority for this year. E. We’ll now be using a new metric for determining success. Pick one or practice the following exercises with them all.
  33. 33. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Share how you will communicate… • Formally (annual report, media interview) • Informally (humor, elevator encounter) • Face-to-face (body language, stories, questions) • Virtually (email, advertising, images) How does your message change to fit each medium?
  34. 34. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Share how you will communicate … • Up to senior leadership/investors/board • Across to colleagues • Down to subordinates • Out to consumers, investors, talent pool How well do you know your audiences’ expectations, needs, interests?
  35. 35. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT “In an aligned organization, every employee—from the executive suite to the loading dock—understands not only the strategy and goals of the business, but also how his or her work contributes to them.” – George Labovitz Founder and CEO of ODI
  36. 36. Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT Additional materials • Work of Leaders: VISION slides • Work of Leaders: EXECUTION slides • Everything DiSC Work of Leaders Facilitation Kit • Work of Leaders Supplemental Readings • The Work of Leaders: How Vision, Alignment, and Execution Will Change the Way You Lead • Visit us at