“In any organization, goals must always be in alignment.” — Jocko Willink
Goals are hard enough to achieve for one person.
They are nearly impossible to achieve for two or more people who are not aligned. This makes sense rationally, so why don’t more organizations emphasize the importance of alignment?
Alignment is difficult. Even when achieved, it must be maintained. The slightest perturbation can throw it off and set people at cross purposes.
It isn’t enough for some people to focus on alignment. Everyone must have skin in the game. The alternative is simple: FAILURE.
1. Goals must support the overall vision. How can people align when goals are not aligned with the organization's overall mission? Alignment starts there. Everything that follows depends on it.
2. Goals must be clear, concise and measurable. Goals that are complicated, unclear or unwieldy will not stick. No matter how hard an organization tries, there can be no alignment of poorly defined goals.
3. Goals must be communicated. Clearly defined goals not widely communicated might as well not exist. Don’t fool yourself into thinking goals will inspire and spread of their own accord. Where a vacuum exists, competing goals will take root.
4. Goals must achieve buy-in. Every person in an organization must believe in the overall mission. They must understand their place, purpose and value. Only then can they feel a part of the whole. Only then can they BELIEVE.
5. Goals must be actively managed. They must adapt. Conditions in business, politics and life change quickly. Failure to embrace change means change will own you.
6. Goals must be front and center. They must be prominent every single day. Goals must be the first thing you see when starting your day and the last thing you think about when finishing it. They must permeate everything you do and say.
Ignore alignment of goals at your own peril.