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Alignment is the key to a happy, successful team.

On the day before my wife Becky and I wed, my grandpa asked if I wanted advice about how to have a successful, happy marriage. He and my grandmother had stuck together for many decades until death parted them, so I eagerly listened.

"There are two things you should do," he said. "God gave both of you opinions, so work hard to always find common ground on issues. That will help your marriage work well."

"Okay, Grandpa," I said, "what's the second thing?"

With a wink and a chuckle he said, "Always go with her opinion."

Wonderful advice for newlyweds, old-weds, and leaders.

Set marriage aside for a moment and consider organizational dynamics. Whether in a church setting, a parachurch group, a nonprofit team, or a business, the challenge to align conflicting opinions runs universal. Just as the benefits of such alignment shine obvious. Or do they?

Alignment turns anemic when a pastor and a ministry director share different visions for the future, or when a president and vice president pursue contrasting ...

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