What Executive Team Alignment Means and Does for a Company

What Executive Team Alignment Means and Does for a Company

team alignment

A leadership team must be in alignment to thrive and drive success across the company…but what does “team alignment” look like, exactly?

Alignment is often described as working together towards the same goals and vision. While that’s true, it is how you get there that’s crucial. There are a few fundamental aspects that are often overlooked.


To reach team alignment, you must have healthy conflict, which means an open and honest exchange of ideas. Everyone must be allowed to voice their opinion and feel the rest of the team has absorbed and acknowledged their input as part of the decision-making process.

That’s very different from nodding your head even if in disagreement just to be a “team player” and avoid stirring the pot.


Once the team makes a decision, all members must align with it. They have to have a clear understanding of the direction to take and the impact of it. Equally important, they must embrace the teamwork roadmap – whether they were in agreement with it or not.

This means no behind-the-scene criticism, no sticking to their own point of view, no “I told you so” if something doesn’t work. When the leaders take the decision to their respective teams, they must stand with it and own it as if it was their idea.

There is no room for: “we agreed to this decision, but I have my concerns.” All concerns should be discussed and left in the executive meeting room.

This is important because leadership alignment – or lack of it – causes ripple effects throughout the entire organization. If a company’s leaders are in sync, so will their teams. It creates cultural safety. Everyone knows the organization’s direction and their role in it.


We recently worked with an executive team who had a new member. The concept of alignment was new to him. He was a very strong presence within the company and had enjoyed many years of publicly disagreeing with the senior team. Now that he was a part of it, having to align with the team’s direction was a big change.

In the team development workshop we facilitated for them, we worked through his thoughts and concerns and the team had an open dialogue on how to support him through this adjustment.

What was most important in helping him come around was understanding that he would still be able to make his voice heard. It was a powerful moment for him to realize the impact of his communication and how disruptive the lack of team alignment can be for the entire company. He agreed that he could commit to aligning and stop any negative talk.

Do your company leaders struggle to make decisions together and present a united front?

Let’s talk about how to bring your senior team into greater alignment.

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