Why Strategic Alliances Are Useful (And What You Need To Do In Advance)
Most of us are familiar with the acronym TEAM (together everyone achieves more), but have you considered the power of forming a strategic alliance with a specific purpose in mind?
Joining forces with a colleague or individual who shares your vision and values can be a fantastic way to help you both progress your careers.
You might choose to have an accountability partner to keep you on track, or someone to tag team and pick up part of an ongoing project; either way, the right association will help you gain traction, enjoy the journey, mastermind new ideas and build a sense of community.
We can see from the success of running clubs, walking groups or gyms just how much more driven people are when they are supported.
At Elevate Talent we routinely see individuals feel inspired and progress with renewed motivation when they interact with each other and see what’s possible in the workplace.
When you form a strategic alliance, you have support to get what you want while helping others get what they want. It’s a win-win situation. However, if you aren’t clear on what it is you want to achieve, you’re wasting a valuable opportunity.
You need to take the time to carefully consider what it is that you want, why you want it, and how you plan to obtain it. We need to bring goals to life so that we feel compelled and driven to take the necessary action.
What do you want to achieve?
As human beings, if our goals lack substance, we tend to lack motivation. For example, if we say we want to “finish a client contract by the end of the week” it’s a superficial, one-dimensional goal.
If we reframe the goal by adding context and background (by starting to explore why it matters), we feel drawn to create the bigger picture. The goal to finish a client contract by the end of the week might now include an awareness that the completion of the project will:
- Give the client clarity.
- Help cement a good working dynamic with the client and build their trust.
- Maintain a steady workflow.
- Help you meet your key performance indicators (which could lead to promotion).
- Give you peace of mind for the weekend.
- Free you up to work on another important task next week.
- Build your confidence in your capability to work and deliver to the deadline.
Why does it matter to you?
When a goal has greater meaning, you’ll likely renew your sense of purpose and commitment to achieve it.
For example, if your goal is to be promoted, it’s helpful to consider:
- What impact will promotion have on my career? Will I earn more, have greater influence?
- How will that impact my life? Will it free up my time, enable me to afford luxury holidays or upgrade my car?
- What will happen if I don’t get promoted? Will I pursue other avenues?
- How will I feel if I am promoted? How will I reward myself?
Willpower is not enough to help us achieve a goal (if it was, the human race wouldn’t have any problems and we’d all have incredibly healthy lifestyles!).
Once we have conviction around what we want and why it matters, we can begin to focus on how best to get the ball rolling.
How to build momentum
It’s useful to build in milestones and mini targets (that contribute to the overall goal) along the way.
Find ways to make the pursuit of your goal interesting and engaging; perhaps reward yourself by celebrating milestones over dinner, a spa day, or by going to an amusement park with your family (whatever feels good to you). When we learn to associate pleasure with the goal, we feel pulled towards it rather than having to push ourselves to take action.
As humans, we tend to be motivated to move towards pleasure and away from pain. However, if you find that your primary goal keeps slipping to the end of your to-do list, you need to check in and establish why. It might be an easy reset: for example, do you need to set a tighter deadline, improve your time management, prioritise your needs more or set better boundaries? If you feel disinterested in your goal, restart the investigative process of what you want, why you want it, and how you can go about creating it. If you still don’t feel passionate, it’s time to set a new goal!
The power of forming a strategic alliance
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, a strategic alliance is a fantastic way to motivate, encourage, inspire and move towards your big vision. When you are committed to your goal, you’ll feel far more confident approaching individuals to work alongside or with you; and with their support, input, connections and influence, you’ll likely enjoy the process and achieve your goal more quickly.
I hope this article has encouraged you to think more creatively about what you want. If you’d love the support of Elevate Talent to help you progress your career, get in touch. Our online programme currently has members in 56 countries, and we’ve helped more than 8,000 women progress their careers since 2016. Is it time to elevate yours?