Are we aligned & is it enough?

If we assume that there is
no such thing as perfect alignment between us and a potential employer,
partner, or customer, how do we know when we have enough in common to have a
successful relationship? 

This process starts with
us.  Before we can judge if our goals and
philosophies are in line with someone else’s, we need to know what they are! 

What kind of work excites you
and gets you moving in the morning? 

Which experiences do you find
it impossible not to share with others?  

What’s your life
plan – the goals and aspirations against which you evaluate your options

By considering the actions we’ve taken, how satisfying we
found them, and why we felt that way, we can start to understand what we value
and the importance of each value in relation to the other. 

So, first we define and prioritize the list. Then we commit to refine and adjust it on a
regular basis.

Now that we have an idea
of what WE value, we need to find out what’s important to the other guy. 

What do they say they
value? How do we know that’s the
case? How do these stated philosophies
compare to our goals and values? 

Can we “rate” potential
employers, partners, and customers
according our value list? 

Where are the gaps?

Does this potential
relationship fulfill our highest priorities (the ones we consider not

Could this relationship
move us closer to achieving our goals?

By understanding our
values and their priorities, having a plan, and attempting to assess how a
potential relationship fits in, we stand a better chance of pursuing beneficial
relationships and gracefully declining distracting or potentially destructive

Next time we’ll consider
some ways we can assess a company’s or individual’s values even if we’ve not actually
worked with them.


Some resources
Pamela Slim and Five
Easy Ways to Discover What You Are Meant to Do With Your Life

Philippa Kennealy
discusses how
to find the right business partner

Liz Strauss helps us to understand
Myers Briggs
(self-assessment) and gives us some clues to identify vendors
that might work well with us

Alexander Kjerulf lists
some things
that make people unhappy at work
.  I think they apply beyond the classic
employee-employer relationship as well.