I’m sure you, just like me, have had the experience where the wheels on our car have become unaligned. You can feel it as you drive. Your car will begin to pull to one side or the other. You find yourself having to constantly adjust your steering to avoid running off the road, or across the center-line of the road. Quite a bit more energy is expended just staying where you need to be. As you might imagine, this is not good for your car, and it is not safe. If you let it go without getting it fixed, you risk it getting worse and create an even bigger safety hazard.
Alignment in business is similar.
If we are not properly aligned with our company, our team, our clients and our vendors, we are likely to experience a “pull” away from our goals, and may even put the survival of our business at unnecessary risk. In challenging business conditions, much like challenging driving conditions, improper alignment can lead to disaster, or at the very least, energy leakage, while proper alignment can create a smooth path to your desired destination.
Here is a format for a quick business alignment check-up:
1. Make sure that you are clear on your personal goals and values
You cannot hope to align with others unless you know what is most important to you. Do you seek a particular lifestyle, wealth, the ability to balance work with other life priorities? Do you prefer certain types of clients or referral partners? Do you prefer a certain style of communication or personality type?
2. Review the mission, vision and values of your company and your team
Are they aligned with your personal goals and values? Does your company or team effectively reflect what’s most important to you? Do you reflect what is most important to your company?
3. Communicate what is important to you with every client and vendor
Proper alignment takes effort and the more upfront you are about what you desire, the more likely others will respect you and your passion. Misalignment takes effort as well, but it is effort that is unproductive and wasted.
4. Respond quickly to any signs of misalignment
It’s your business and your life, don’t let it get off track and take you somewhere other than you want to go. We are all headed somewhere. Are you on the proper path?
5. How do you feel?
This is not just a head check, but a body-check as well.
6. Encourage others to align their business
Being surrounded by a community of folks who are all committed to the importance of proper alignment creates an environment of mutual accountability and positive energy.
You simply cannot be “all things to all people.” The process of business alignment is essential to ensuring that you are working alongside the “right” people for you. These are the people that make you better. They motivate, inspire and encourage you to deliver the very best service possible and achieve the results that you seek.
There are serious challenges ahead that not all will be prepared for in our industry. Make sure you are prepared to meet them by performing a comprehensive alignment check.
Sharon Bitz is the national head of wholesale lending for WCS Lending, one of the largest privately-held mortgage banks in the U.S. that has been recognized as an Inc. 5000 honoree for the fourth consecutive year. WCS, which is licensed in 49 states, has offices in Florida, New York, California, Michigan, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio and Hawaii and generates $2 billion-plus in loans annually. She may be reached by phone at (916) 996-1620.