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November 6, 2013 » 2:04 pm

What Alignment Feels Like

What does great collaboration feel like? Why is it so valuable to invest time and resources into getting a group to align?

If you’ve ever experienced great collaboration in any context, you know the answer. I loved reading race car driver Ashley Freiberg’s account of this feeling after running the New York Marathon for the first time:

I had been to New York a few times before, and usually people are heading in their own directions trying to get to work or wherever they need to be. What was amazing was that this event really pulled everyone together for one common goal. To them the runners weren’t just people running; they were their family, neighbors, mothers, grandpas or sisters pushing through adversity. It was inspiring to run alongside these people who were in wheelchairs, who were blind or who had prosthetic legs and were still going strong. I ran with people who were young and old and who were from countries all over the world. The crowd went absolutely nuts no matter who you were.

I really can’t describe how powerful this was to me mentally. Every time I felt like I wanted to give up and slow down and walk, the crowds, runners, my BTWF teammates and my friends who came from all over the place to support me gave me that extra push to keep going.

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One Response to “What Alignment Feels Like”

  1. I've thought about what it is about these 'burst' events that create alignment, or community. I'm thinking it has a lot to do with the excitement of the run-up = anticipation, and people start to troll the internet and other places to chat with others who will be attending. This run-up, which can be augmented or squashed by organizers, is key. More key, though, is that these alignment moments happen when we are together, not generally in virtual moments.

    I was just at a festival for 4 days, which I haven't done in decades. It was the same feeling of alignment, love, care and fun. I want to begin injecting these kinds of elements into the communties I am a part of.

    My take-away is that virtual communtieis have value, but are much stronger and cohesive with regular face-to-face check-ins.

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