In our previous discussions, we explored how representations interfere with the bulletproof alignment required of executive committees and how becoming actively invested in creating a level playing field is critical to achieving management results and forging commitments beyond barriers.

However, consider this scenario; a charismatic and visionary CEO, who is surrounded by, but not necessarily supported by, an equally strong executive committee suddenly resigns — or worse — unexpectedly passes away.

It’s a very real scenario, according to Strategy + Business who note, “Businesses that become dependent on a single great leader run a risk: If that individual retires, leaves, or dies in office, the organization may lose the capacity to succeed. Witness the fates of ITT Industries Inc. after Harold Geneen, the Polaroid Corporation after Edwin H. Land, or Apple Computer Inc. between Steve Jobs’s terms.”

Your CEO may subscribe to the commitments outlined in our previous discussions, but in order to authentically achieve cohesion and alignment — and management results — accountability is required from each member of the executive committee. And only by working alongside each other — relying on your fellow committee members to collectively reach shared and individual goals — will you reach this nexus.

Real Work, Real Results

Executive alignment works when people have a chance to build something together — not just present, agree, and validate the work of other people — but actually construct concepts, solutions, and areas for opportunity in unison.

The sense of empowerment that comes from making decisions together and relying on each other is very real, and it only results when people wholeheartedly enroll and commit. To make this work, committee members must:

  • Establish a common goal, across disciplines
  • Check personal agendas at the door

Once committee members experience what is possible by way of alignment — brought about by an authentic commitment to each other and solidified by working in the trenches next to one another — this in and of itself represents a significant breakthrough.

Furthermore, this is when powerful C-level alignment becomes a force greater than anything any of the individual executive committee members could achieve individually, and is an incredible force to behold.

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