Three Tips for Aligning Well

Michael Hyatt is a leadership guru. He has learned a lot from his mistakes and generously shares his hard-earned wisdom with others on his BLOG.

He recently wrote a post about the importance of aligning up – or what we often call influence leadership. I thought it was very helpful and wanted to share it with you.
These are his three simple but very important tips for about aligning others to the mission (with a few of my personal edits for our CCC/Cru context). I hear him saying… do not assume aligning can be done quickly and easily, but it is possible to do it well!


You cannot keep your team aligned unless you have frequent contact with them. They are going to do their best with what you give them. If you don’t spend time with them, it is inevitable that they’re going to make decisions you don’t like.

It is your responsibility to initiate this contact. You can do this in a variety of ways:

  • In-person one-on-ones or Zoom/Google Hangout calls
  • Regular staff meetings
  • Just walking around the office (if you have one)
  • Digital/virtual tools (Google/SLACK/etc) for projects


Contact is not enough. You have to communicate. Your people cannot read your mind. They need to know what you expect. They need to understand the vision, mission, and desired outcomes. You will need to verbalize your expectations. Over and over again.

In addition, if you don’t like the direction your team is going, you’ll need to speak up—before you get into a high-stakes situation where dialog is happening in real-time. Or worse, it’s too late.


Communication is not enough either. For true alignment to take place, your people have to know and trust your heart. They have to be committed to your success and the success of the team.

You may be tempted to think you’re entitled to this trust by virtue of being their leader. You’re not. You can demand their presence, but you can’t demand their heart. You must earn it. You can only create a connection—and thus alignment—when you open your heart and let others in.

For true alignment, your team has to know
and trust your heart.

~ MichaeI Hyatt

One of the best ways to do this is to talk about the why. As leaders, we create alignment when our teams can share some aspect of what motivates us.

Alignment depends on everyone connecting on what’s at stake.
Alignment is critical if you want to get the right things done and move your organization forward in the most effective and efficient way possible. However, it won’t happen on it’s own. As a leader, you must take the initiative to create it.

**If you want to read Michael Hyatt’s full post or more of his blog, click HERE.

The Team Leader Training includes an excellent session on leading up and another session in the Leadership Framework area. You can also learn more about sharing your heart by studying the Leadership Framework Heart of the Leader session. Follow these links to learn more and improve your leadership aligning skills!

What have you found to be helpful when you are aligning others to the mission?

Terry Morgan

Hi! I’m Terry, married to Steve and mother of four adult children. I have worked with Cru for almost 40 years, 20 of those years in Latin America. I am passionate about helping people find grace, hope, and growth by walking closely with Jesus. As part of that passion, I coach and train ministry leaders worldwide and create resources to help others grow. You will often find me in our patio garden, processing life with Jesus, with a cup of strong, black coffee in hand.

4 thoughts on “Three Tips for Aligning Well”

  1. Those are three great and simple tips! Thanks for sharing. I remember my trainer Tom D. when I was first learning ministry in the fraternities. He stressed and modeled a concept he called \”face time\”. Today we have a different FaceTime, but what I learned was very similar. Trust (and influence) is build by face to face time. When I would visit a guy in the living room of the fraternity, many other guys would see my face as they came in and out of the house. As they saw me there many times, others would begin to associate me with someone they could trust because I was meeting with their friends. Whether sharing the gospel or motivating someone toward a project or goal, aligning is easier when there is trust.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Steve. That\’s a great example you mention. \”Face-2-Face Time\” (when possible) can help build all three elements mentioned above – contact, communicate, and connect!

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