Healthy leadership . . . so many books written. So much great information to process. But in many ways, healthy leadership is all about alignment.
In a post last week, I introduced the concept of personal alignment and how it impacts us professionally. Being misaligned personally leads to a host of problems: Anxiety and depression. Fatigue and lack of energy. Isolation and loneliness. Reduced performance at work.
Using the illustration of spinal alignment, we discovered two major benefits of getting aligned:
- We discover healthier rhythms that keep us operating at sustainable peak performance
- We handle challenges with more energy, effectiveness, and resiliency.
Last week, I introduced a free resource, The Personal Alignment Checklist. This quick self-evaluation will help you discover how you’re doing in terms of alignment.
I live in Michigan, the land where potholes have babies. It’s doesn’t take much to get our vehicles’ tires misaligned in the Mitten State. Once that happens, everything—your tires, your vehicle, and your hands vibrating on the steering wheel—will feel it.
Alignment, according to kaltire.com, plays a critical role in the performance of a car or truck in at least three ways:
- Tire life – when misaligned, your car’s tires wear unevenly and have a shorter life expectancy.
- Safety – when your tires aren’t properly aligned, it reduces your control and handling of the vehicle.
- Comfort – Aligned tires make driving much easier and more enjoyable.
Similarly, when we’re misaligned personally, our leadership life expectancy is shortened, our ability to handle leadership twists and turns is reduced, and we have to work harder to make progress, and often end up enjoying our professional life less.
In last week’s post, we considered the first 2 components of personal alignment:
1. Spiritual – basically, developing our walk with God. Intimacy with God is foundational to personal alignment.
2. Medical – working with our doctor to ensure we’re physiologically aligned in terms of nutrition, hormonal balance, etc.
In today’s post, we’ll consider alignment elements 3, 4, and 5
3. Psychological – the third area we investigate with our clients includes how they’re processing life from a thought perspective. On most occasions, they simply need to tweak a few thought patterns to get better aligned. However, if they report suffering deep struggles with damaging thought patterns, often issuing from childhood wounds, we encourage them to see a licensed counselor to work through those issues. Counselors are skilled at scrubbing out deep emotional wounds. Here’s the truth: Nobody thinks accurately in a vacuum. Counselors and mentors are a key part of the alignment journey. A fourth alignment element?
4. Physical – We encourage our clients to get their bodies moving. Exercise brings both physiological and psychological benefits. We don’t have to be a bodybuilder to benefit from exercise—we just need to put our bodies in motion. Exercise helps us get fit. It releases feel-good chemicals that help us think more clearly. Getting our bodies moving lifts our mood. Some recent research suggests exercise can even create new brain cells. We could always use more of those! Here’s a fifth component of personal alignment . . . our
5. Schedule – what we do with our work pace impacts alignment significantly. Way too often, leaders who are passionate about their assignment throw caution to the wind in terms of their workload. And before long, they get misaligned. Work becomes more difficult, fatigue sets in, and they find themselves not enjoying their calling as much as they used to. Figuring out and implementing a sustainable schedule helps to keep you aligned, energetic, and healthy.
God hasn’t called you to a sprint—He’s called you to a marathon. Marathoners run at a different pace than sprinters. Usain Bolt set a world speed record of 27.8 mph during the 100-meter sprint in the 2009 World Championships. Dennis Kimmetto set the world record for the marathon in 2013. He sustained an average pace of 13 mph. Marathoners run at a different pace than sprinters. You won’t finish the marathon God’s called you to if you’re always sprinting.
So there you have it. The first five elements of personal alignment.
If you’d like to start the alignment journey with Converge Coaching, take advantage of The Personal Alignment Checklist. It will give you a quick read on your degree of alignment today. You can find it here
In a matter of minutes, you’ll be able to determine from a 50,000-foot view where you need to get better aligned. And it will jumpstart your journey toward health.
In our next post, we’ll explore the remaining two alignment elements. We’ll talk about the impact of relationships and healthy work/rest rhythms on our personal alignment.
See you next week.
I’m rooting and praying for you!