Alignment is a lot like calibration, the difference is calibration is adjusting one component or part of our lives, but alignment is getting all of the parts and relationships of our lives moving and working together. Alignment is essential for for our own effectiveness, right and positive influences, for properly pursuing our calling and purposes, and for living a joyful life. Organizational and team alignment is an important focus for accomplishing your mission.
In this episode of the Calibrate Life Podcast, David and Donna talk about the need for moving together in alignment in our personal lives, relationships, and team leadership. For complete and time-stamped episode notes, continue reading.
Alignment in Life and Relationships: Living, Leading, and Loving in the Same Direction
Alignment is (dictionary.com definition), “a state of agreement or cooperation among persons, groups, or nations, etc. with a common cause or viewpoint.”
Alignment involves (1) agreement and (2) cooperation. [7:45]
We can have cooperation without agreement, and we can have agreement without cooperation, but alignment requires both. In every vital relationship in our lives we need both agreement and cooperation, with my spouse, with God, with my team, and with those who most influence my thinking, living, and decision-making.
Alignment is about tracking together, moving in the same direction. [8:40]
Alignment personally, relationally, or organizationally requires alignment of our causes, objectives, vision, and purposes . While we are all uniquely and individually different, we will have different viewpoints and opinions, yet those unique viewpoints and opinions have to be aligned with common values, objectives and direction.
[8:50] When I was in college I worked at Kelly Springfield Tires. I learned to operate the equipment used to align the front end of a car. If two tires on the front of the car are not aligned they work against each other and they wear down to the core in a fraction of the expected life of the tire. If alignment is bad enough a tire will be ruined within just a few hundred miles. If misalignment is subtle, then the wear on the tires will show only after a longer period of time, but force applied in opposing directions, slight as it may be, will significantly shorten the life of the tire.
Think about your personal calibration, your relationships, and your leadership. If you do not take the time to align vision, values, mission, direction, passions, etc. it will wear upon you, your relationship, or your leadership. Keep in mind as well, alignment is constant and ongoing. Considering the illustration of aligning the components on the front-end of a car, the first pothole you hit with your tire knocks the car ever so slightly out of alignment. The greater the hit the more misaligned the front end. After hard hits and difficult challenges, your life, relationship, or leadership requires a bit of alignment.
[shareable]If you do not take the time to align vision, values, mission, direction, passions, etc. it will wear upon you, your relationship, or your leadership.[/shareable]
[12:00] Two objects (or people) on a perfectly parallel path will track together. But if they are off just a little bit, years or months down the road they will either be so far apart it will be hard to believe that they started so closely together or they will have worn each other down and created irrevocable damage.
Alignment is Essential for Your Personal Effectiveness [13:25]
Calibrate360 and the Calibrate Life Podcast focuses upon calibrating the components of our lives for joyful living. Aligning all of the parts of our lives harmonizes those parts toward a singular direction and mission. Your spirituality, relationships, personal development, ministry, leadership, and life management must align.
[13:50] Consider the elements of your life as the staves of a barrel. If one stave is broken the barrel will only hold its contents up to the level of the shortest stave. We have to lift the elements of our lives together. It does little good to place all of our effort into strengthening our physical bodies if we neglect our spirituality, likewise, to focus solely on our spirituality without giving thought to our physical bodies may be of some profit, but we will not have the time or energy to do the great things in our hearts unless we are calibrating both areas together.
Our spiritual self needs the energy of our physical self. The same philosophy and theology keeping us focused on one or the other ought to guide us in both. Every area of our lives have to be aligned with our core values.
Alignment is Essential for Healthy and Joyful Relationships [20:30]
[22:00] Alignment is most important in our relationships. The Bible says, “How can two walk together except they be in agreement? (Reference?)” It also says that three cords bound together are much stronger than a single strand (reference).
[23:14] Alignment in our relationship with God means aligning our lives with His Word and with His revelation to us. We need to track with the heartbeat of God. My life is not my own. Christianity is about death to self-desires and being made alive to the purposes of God for our lives. This means we must align with the plans and purposes of God revealed to us.
[24:57] With relationships, we must have alignment. We may disagree on some things, but we have to be aligned directionally, this is why the scriptures are so clear on being unequally yoked together. Two oxen yoked together must move in the same direction.
[25:40] In marriage, we have to align ourselves to move and grow in the same direction. This is why it is important to compromise in order to gain alignment. It becomes a problem when we just sacrifice our core values to maintain alignment. When core values are misaligned a decision must be made to compromise to adjust the values or sacrifice the relationship. This is why the formation of relationships are so important. We must really do the hard work of making sure values are aligned, especially non-negotiable values are aligned because, sooner or later, any inconsistencies will have to be aligned, and they may have to be aligned at great sacrifice.
[29:20] Relationships have seasons. We may track with someone for a while and then verge off in different directions. In marriage we cannot let this happen. A marriage, or any other relationship for that matter, can become misaligned because
- Both sides of the relationship are not growing at the same pace in critical areas
- New learning and insights changing the perspectives of one side of the relationship
- New revelations or deeper spiritual understanding may prompt adjustments that misalign the relationship
- Changing circumstances and life seasons can misalign a relationship
[31:00] One of the challenges we face is not communicating enough. When we do not communicate enough we “pack the bags”, and then we have baggage, things we carry around that changes the relationship. We will assuredly do many podcasts in the future about communication, but as it relates to staying aligned, we must see communication as an “alignment machine.” Communication make constant adjustments. This is true of a marriage, a friendship, or in team relationships.
[shareable]Alignment is really about staying on the same page relationally. [/shareable]
Alignment is really about staying on the same page relationally.
[31:30] As it relates to the alignment of team relationships, the level of the relationship determines the importance of the precision of our alignment. For instance, we have a relationship with our landscaping company, but the landscaping company employees are not on our missionary team. A team is a group of people working together to accomplish the same objective. In evaluating the level of alignment necessary, consider the common objective and the common agreement necessary for the fulfillment of the objective. It isn’t necessary for us to be philosophically aligned with anything matter beyond a common alignment of our landscaping philosophies. Our common objective is green grass and no weeds. The common objective is the only thing we have to have aligned. If, however, the relationship involves accomplishing a common mission or purpose in a particular way and to a particular end, then alignment is important.
The degree to which our health, joy, and values are tied to a relationship, the tighter the alignment necessary. If you work in a retail store for the sole purpose of getting a paycheck, then mutual alignment is necessary at a much lower level than it is if you are part of a missional team, or a team working together to accomplish a mission tied closely to shared core values.
STAYING aligned is relationally important. We have to keep reviewing the values, we have to keep reviewing and communicating direction, dreams, visions, goals. We have to constantly calibrate our lives and our relationships to keep them moving together.
Calibration Tools: Calibrating Your Life and Lifting Those you Love and Lead [34:00]
- Are your actions aligned with your values? Where do you see possible misalignment?
- Consider the big “chunks” of your life, the spiritual, the relational, the physical, etc. Are those key elements of your life aligned? How might they be misaligned.
- Consider your relationships. Think about your relationships according to level. If married, are you aligned with your spouse spiritually, philosophically, etc.? Do you share the same core values? Are you misaligned in any area of your life or relationship? Remember the “alignment machine” of communication. Discuss areas of possible misalignment and discuss measures you can take to “get on the same page.”
- Consider your missional team (the teams you work with to accomplish a common objective). Take a moment to identify each of the teams and team layers you work with. Identify the mission objective of each of those teams. Do you have alignment? Does every team member have an understanding of the common objectives? Does every team member understand the organizational and personal values? Are those understandings of the values aligned? How are they misaligned? Have you even talked about it with the team? Can the team state the same missional objective?
Next week we will be considering a few more aspects of the topic of alignment. We will consider why alignment is so essential to fulfilling our life purpose, pursuing our calling, and even understanding the will of God for our lives and how it affects stepping into our desired future. We will also talk about why alignment is essential to living a joyful life.
Join us again next Thursday morning as we continue the conversation about lining up our lives.
Help us bring transformation and life calibration to leaders around the world. If you will take a moment to subscribe in Apple Podcasts and rate and review the Calibrate Life podcast, it will help us speak into the lives of greater numbers of people. You can partner with us in this simple way — and it is free!