Balancing and Alignment

We drove from Bangalore to Poovar, near Trivandrum in 2007 .. And the reason we will never forget that one road trip is because of the road conditions and getting the wheels balanced and aligned two days in a row for the Toyota Corolla !! We went from Bangalore to Coimbatore and stayed the night at my cousin’s place. When we left the next morning, we got the wheels balanced and aligned. The road was non-existent between Coimbatore and Trivandrum … Infact the next day Lorry drivers went on a strike since their axles broke on that road !! As soon as we reached Trivandrum, we had to get to the Toyota showroom and get the alignment and balancing done again.

Today morning Krishnan and I were talking of purpose and ideological differences in the workplace and Krishnan spoke of alignment and I suddenly remembered this incident. A car that doesn’t have its wheels aligned and balanced, wobbles at high speed, consumes more fuel, gets punctured more easily etc etc. Just replace the car with an employee in an organization. If the employee is not aligned to the organization’s purpose and doesn’t have a balanced relationship with his/her peers, boss or subordinates – the employee will wobble, will be stressed out and disengaged !!

As a manager one of your KRAs (key result area) must be to align your team member’s purpose to the organization’s purpose. It means investing time in understanding the employee’s career and life purpose, and in some cases helping the employee discover his/her life purpose. Then it’s finding ways of how meeting the organization goals helps this employee meet his/her career goals. The process is intense and has to happen over a period of time. The results are spectacular as my team and I saw during our “destiny” series, a transformational initiative. A balanced relationship is not overdrawing on each other’s trust account balances – simply put, it can’t be a one-sided relationship benefiting just one party all the time.

All of us forget to tune ourselves up like we tune our cars. If a mechanical thing like a car needs tuning up every few 1000 kilometres, think of us, a thinking-feeling being with complexities …. How much time should we be spending in tuning ourselves up ? The first activity in tuning up is getting balanced and aligned with our peers, bosses, subordinates and the organization’s purpose. Don’t be out of tune or play at the wrong pitch like a musical instrument that hasn’t been tuned :):) – this statement is for those who like music.

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