Leadership is typically more about managing tensions than it is about solving problems.

Examples of some tensions that must be managed are:

  • Doing everything with excellence but not going over budget
  • Making decisions based on Risk and Reward
  • Honoring the history of an organization while preparing it for the future
  • Getting the task done while addressing issues concerning team members
  • Getting people to work because the “want to” and not just because the “have to”
  • Deciding whether long-term results or short-term results are better for the organization

These are just a few examples of the many tensions that leaders must manage every day. The Team Alignment Model is a simple diagram that communicates the unique role of a leader to identify issues, evaluate them and then craft a solution that will serve the team and align them for success. There are natural tensions between the past and the future of an organization and there are always tensions between the tasks that must be accomplished and the people who accomplish them.

People are different. Some are future oriented while others are past oriented; some are task oriented while others are people oriented. One size does not fit all. Leaders must craft custom solutions to address the complexities of the tensions they manage.


For any organization to achieve and sustain success, the leaders must consistently align Future Opportunities with the Vision, Mission and Values of the organization. They must regularly ask: “Who are we and Why do we do what we do?”

The Leader must create Team Alignment between the Vision, Mission and Values of the organization and Future Opportunities. This Alignment is essential for managing the natural tension that exists in moving from the past to the future and in evaluating risk and reward.

Tasks and People

Work is simply tasks being accomplished by people. Every business is in the “People Business”. Even organizations that rely heavily on automation and technology still need people to get the tasks done. There is a huge difference in a workforce that does the tasks because the “have to” and a workforce that does the tasks because the “want to”. This is the tension between management and leadership. Both are required yet the dynamics can be complex. People need Custom Crafted Solutions that help them engage the work they are doing with passion and ownership. Leaders must find a way to identify issues and then craft solutions that will serve their team members and align them for success.

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