The Dutch call it " getting all of the noses pointing in the same direction". When charting a new course, the single greatest leadership frustration is not coming up with the perfect plan - it's the fear that no one will follow. For followers it's fear that leaders will not support each other and follow thru. That's where each group places blame when plans fail to deliver.

Today we look for remote controls - installing software to monitor and measure, hoping to find "an app for that". Anything to insure compliance. According to the number one website ranking for "aligning organizations" is an SAP solution provider. Successfactors offers products to shape and maintain the performance of people in an organization. More than 80% of visitors to  Successfactors head straight to "Performancemanager".  So significant is the need for tools, SAP acquired the company earlier this year.

Technology offers powerful potential however, leaders make good products look bad when we depend on the product to be the solution. The greatest misunderstanding is the amount of work required to make an organization "self aligning". Leadership in alignment is not a remote activity. It's not easy making it look easy.

Successful alignment requires leaders to acknowledge or work on all of the pieces of the alignment puzzle. It is enticing to think we can avoid the hard work by installing software. Leadership Nirvana. Alignment is art - the art of great leadership. Software is a tool in the artist's toolbox. If you are going to be an artist you'd better work on your skill sets before depending too much on tools.

In the coming posts we will be writing about five important alignment skills good leaders need to cultivate...

1. Instilling purpose
2. Cultivating trust
3. Energizing conversations and feedback
4. Making success a "big deal" - the art of Winning.

And oh yes...

5. Creating process

Which might include software.

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