Alignment is about becoming the best, fullest, most beautiful version of yourself.
Have you ever felt like you were on a roll?
Everything seems to be going your way. Time slows, and you see everything clearly. Past the noise and distractions, you’re able to zoom in on the essential. You take the perfect action at the perfect time, like Neo effortlessly dodging bullets in The Matrix. You instinctively know what to do, and you have the profound feeling that you are on the right path. Perhaps you are even experiencing what many athletes have described as being “in the flow” or “in the zone.” Surfers catch the perfect wave, and skiers effortlessly navigate challenging slaloms. That state of consciousness where we feel in the groove and perform at the optimal level is not the prerogative of a chosen few but is available to everyone. What you experience in sport, you can experience in life.
This experience is the manifestation of what I call alignment. Alignment is not about falling in step or conforming to others’ expectations, but rather becoming more of yourself, connecting with who you really are—and in so doing, transcending what you thought were the limits of your capabilities.
Think of your spine. When all your vertebrae are working as they should, stacked in perfect position on top of each other and flexing across their full range of motion without constriction, that alignment benefits your entire body via the multitude of nerves connected to them. Any constriction or blockage in any part of your spine, on the other hand, and the chain reaction works in the other direction: your body experiences pain, friction, a narrower range of movement, or lower energy. In short, it operates below its potential.
I experienced alignment firsthand as a teenager when I was a competitive show jumper: the perfect communion with my horse, the clear vision of how to navigate the obstacle course, and the laser focus on what needs to be done—free of the “noise” of thoughts and doubts. I felt seamless communication with the horse through hands and legs, using anticipation, intuitive agility, and subtle adjustments to stay in perfect balance—producing a sense of ease, clarity, calmness, and effortless power. I became one with my horse, and together we became one with the whole, transcending limitations.
Time and again, as an executive leadership coach helping CEOs and senior managers, I witness how aligned leaders are able to step up their performance with ease and joy and successfully embrace new challenges. Their sense of alignment facilitates the agility, speed, and foresight that are essential to successfully navigate increasingly complex environments, rapid change, and uncertainty. By fully becoming the leaders they are meant to be, they become more influential and broaden their reach as well as their impact, leaping from successful to extraordinary.
The leader in you is no different. You, too, if properly aligned, can reach higher than you ever thought possible, effortlessly and joyfully inspiring others to embrace and follow your vision. You, too, can generate that sense of clarity and ease, even in the face of challenges and setbacks. You, too, can create that congruence of who you are, what you think, and what you do.
Alignment does not happen by itself, however. It requires a willingness to connect with who you truly are, to do the work to become who you want to be, and to project your aligned self from your inner world onto the outside one. It requires the courage to disrupt your own status quo. It requires the right tools and guidance to bust through your self-limitations. Are you ready to take a good look at yourself?
How far do you feel from your own alignment?
Where is your gap between who you are and who you want to be?
What kind of leader do you want to be?
How do you want to be remembered?